Do You Know Who This Reminds Me Of?
June 19, 2008
I made this ice cream—a cherry gelato, speckled with bits of pureed bing cherries and softly scented with almond extract—on Sunday night. I made it to serve for dessert with some friends on Monday night, but it really tasted best right out of the ice cream maker, when its texture was at its lushest and flavors at their brightest. It got a little icy and grainy in the freezer, which made me a little sad, but our guests were generous about it on Monday (nudged along, I have a hunch, by the chocolately treat I served with the gelato: stay tuned).
By Tuesday, the last bits of gelato had gone even further south, but my sister, Kevin and I had some anyway, as we alternately watched the NBA finals and the Cubs game. I thought my sister, who is not a big cherry fan (which, to me, is akin to lunacy, but—hey—she’s family), was being polite as she slurped thoughtfully through her bowl. A couple bites in, she looked over at me and said,”Do you know who this reminds me of?” As a spoonful of the gelato melted on my tongue, I knew exactly who she meant: Grandpa. And we both had a good smile thinking about a man we both adore, and the fruit-flecked pink ice cream (usually strawberry, but we were close enough) that he adores. Is there anything better than a broad-shouldered man who is more than six feet tall cradling a bowl full of pink ice cream in his truly enormous paws? I think not.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
So I guess, in the end, this ice cream was at its very best at that exact moment. I am always stunned how a bite or a smell or a photo or a thought of food can flood me with a memory or, in this case, thoughts of one of my favorite people on the planet. And I loved that it connected me and my sister and my grandpa, even though he was probably already asleep for the night, not to mention hundreds of miles away. And I love, love, love that I happened to make this ice cream on Sunday—Father’s Day.
I don’t usually post the recipes that don’t turn out as great as I’d hoped on this site. But I made an exception for this one. If you do make it, I highly suggest you eat it right out of the ice cream maker (contrary to the recipe) as more of a soft-serve.
Adapted from Gourmet
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar such as Sugar in the Raw
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 pound bing cherries (1 1/2 cups; do not substitute frozen), pitted
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teasponn pure vanilla extract
Combine 1 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and a pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then add 1/2 cup hot milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk into milk in saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking, then simmer, whisking, 3 minutes. Immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl set in an ice bath. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Remove from ice bath and chill, covered, 1 hour.
Pulse cherries, sugar, and extracts in a food processor until finely chopped, then chill, covered, 1 hour.
Make ice cream:
Stir cherries with their juices into gelato mixture and freeze in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours.*
* As I noted in my post, I thought this ice cream was best right of out of the ice cream maker. It will have more of a softserve consistency, but it’s delicious.