Life is just a bowl of (fresh or frozen) cherries

Cherry Nut Ice Cream

Cherry nut ice cream, September 2012

Fresh red, juicy cherries just can’t help but bring a little happiness. What’s more, they promote sociability. You can eat them in a leisurely way while conversing with friends or family, with a bowl alongside for pits and stems. To preserve fresh cherries I sometimes pit and freeze them to add to yogurt later on. They’re also good in homemade ice cream.

This ice cream recipe was inspired by a favorite from my Minnesota youth—Bridgeman’s cherry nut. The snack shop at my college had this brand, and too much of it contributed to my personal “freshman 15.” Nowadays I’m counting calories, and I find that a generous 1/2-cup serving (109 grams) at 210 calories is enough to satisfy my craving.

Make this ice cream dairy-free by substituting coconut milk (full-fat canned) for the cream and milk.

For best results use an ice cream freezer. My Krups brand is convenient with a double-insulated freezer bowl and electric mechanism. I store the bowl in my deep freeze so it’s ready whenever I get the urge to make ice cream or sorbet. A recent innovation I saw advertised is the Play-and-Freeze—a ball you fill with your mix, add ice and rock salt in a separate compartment, seal it up, and toss it around for a half hour or so. It sounds like fun!

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make ice cream using a food processor. It takes an extra few hours for the mixture to freeze, is more crystallized, and will need longer to soften before you can scoop it, but it still tastes good. Here is the method: Pour the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla mixture into a 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag and seal. Lay the bag flat in the freezer on a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze the cherries and nuts in separate containers. When the liquid mixture is frozen solid, cut open the bag and break the mixture into pieces into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Stop and rearrange pieces with a spatula as necessary. Add the nuts and cherries and pulse a few times just to combine. Place the mixture in a storage container, cover, and freeze until firm, stirring a few times as it freezes.


Cherry Nut Ice Cream
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 1 1/2 cups cream (heavy or whipping)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) pitted and chopped (quarters or eighths) cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (300°F for 10 minutes)
  1. In a large bowl whisk together the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla, stirring a minute or two until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker. Freeze according to the ice cream maker’s instructions, adding the chopped cherries and pecans when the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
  3. When ice cream has set up in machine, place in freezer and chill until firm, 4 to 5 hours.
  4. Before serving, allow a few minutes for the ice cream to soften to a consistency that's easy to scoop.
Serving size: Generous 1/2 cup (109 g). Calories: 210; Fat: 10g; Saturated fat: 3g; Unsaturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 28g; Sugar: 14 g; Sodium: 40 mg; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 2g; Cholesterol: 14mg.


Shared at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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2 Responses to “Life is just a bowl of (fresh or frozen) cherries”

  1. Anastasie says:

    This recipe is HEAVENLY! I substituted smoked/salted almonds (chopped) and it still tasted great!

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