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.

Cherry Gelato
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

For cherries:
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.


14 Responses to “Do You Know Who This Reminds Me Of?”

  1. Gena Says:

    It was heavenly.

  2. Ali Says:

    I too truly adore that man beyond words! I’m sure he would LOVE a bite or bowl of this… Maybe an August treat?!

  3. I just made this recently too and agree completely – it was wonderful, but best right after churning.

  4. brilynn Says:

    Cherries always make me think of my Grandparents as they have a cherry orchard that I’ve worked in every summer of my life, only 2 more weeks until the cherries are ready this year!

  5. joythebaker Says:

    I guess you just have to eat quickly!? Looks lovely!

  6. Your killing me…I am craving gelato! It’s hot and nothing sounds good except for that!

  7. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Gena: Thanks! So glad you enjoyed. It was great to see you guys.

    Ali: Good idea. I think it’s probably worth hauling my ice cream maker to northern Minnesota, no?

    Holly: It was in such a recent issue of Gourmet that I had a hunch others would have made it. Did you double the cornstarch too, like the Epicurious commenters suggested? I’m interested to know what it turned out like with the original amount of cornstarch.

    Brilynn: Oh my gosh — that sounds so lovely to work on a cherry farm, surrounded by your family. I hope you get to do it again this summer.

    Joy: Exactly! And I’ve never had trouble eating ice cream quickly …

    My Sweet & Saucy: You should whip up some of that chocolate peanut butter ice cream I saw on your site a while back!

  8. Maya Says:

    I have to get an ice cream maker!!

  9. This looks wonderful! I love the speckling you got throughout the ice cream and the photos are great

    Also, in case its of any help, I some times use a small amount (like a tablespoon) of alcohol to help prevent my ice creams from over-hardening in the freezer.

  10. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Maya: Yes, you do! And once you get it, promptly store the bowl in the freezer so you can make ice cream at a moment’s notice.

    Mike: Thank you! And I like the alcohol idea—makes perfect sense. I’ll have to give it a try.

  11. Cat Says:

    Love your pictures. It looks like heaven on a cloud. Why not use frozen cherries. Wish my grandpa was still alive. Loved your story about him.

  12. oliwiadrozd Says:

    That’s a very nice picture!!

  13. growitgreen Says:

    I love gelato, but it is difficult to find a shop that makes it in my small town in S.C. so, I have to make it myself when I get a craving. I appreciate all of the recipes I can get my hands on. Check out this “cool” article about gelato at

  14. growitgreen: I have to say, it might be safer to have to make it yourself. A shop down the road just started selling a great local gelato and it’s difficult not to buy a scoop every single day.

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