Bing Cherry Ice Cream
- 1 C. sugar
- 2 C. fresh Bing cherries, stemmed, pitted and halved
- 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (see note)
- 1 1/2 C. whole milk
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 C. milk, 1/2 C. of the sugar and the cherries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let the cherries steep for 30 minutes. Drain the cherries. Transfer the cherries to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Meanwhile, combine the milk from the cherries along with an additional C. of milk, cream and remaining generous 1/2 C. sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar, until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese to the milk mixture, give it a minute or two to soften, and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Pour the cream mixture into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When nearly frozen and the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the cherries. Churn or stir just until mixed. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.
Makes about 1 1/2 qts.