Blog Flog: Roasted Cherry Ice Cream

Roasted cherry ice cream

It’s a sure sign we’re solidly into summer when the first cherries arrive from BC. The other day a small grocery store by the dog park had an enormous bowl of them at the checkout, and people were milling about far after they had their groceries bagged, chatting, downing as many as they could. BC cherries always arrive bigger, juicier and meatier than I remember, and the action of working out a cherry pit with your tongue and spitting it into the grass channels decades worth of summer nostalgia.

Roasted cherry ice cream

The only problem with having a bag of perfect cherries on your countertop is deciding what to do with them… we ate at least half, of course. The great thing about cherries is their versatility – they’re not given near enough credit for their amazingness in a salad (yes!!), you can dedicate an entire dessert to them, toss them into the blender with vanilla ice cream for the most amazingly brilliant pink milkshakes (we’ll go back to smoothies in the fall), or add a handful to other fruits – especially stone fruits – in pies, cobblers, crisps and crumble cakes.

Pondering this and future cherry hauls, I plan to stir them into scones (with white chocolate!), roast or braise them with honey and balsamic and pour them over a log of goat cheese, or with sugar for no-bake cheesecakes in jars. And of course they make a stunning clafoutis, Dutch baby and pavlova. I haven’t managed to make ice cream this summer – another one of my favourite things – and I love the idea of deep purple cherries swirled into creamy vanilla. The sweet, soft roasted cherries can be mashed or even pureed, but I love leaving them whole (or even in halves), which don’t freeze solid and can be scooped right through.

So! BC Tree Fruits – a co-op of over 400 BC families who grow cherries, apples, pears, peaches and other fruits, asked me to share a recipe to help spread the word about their Summer Staples contest, which runs until August 4 – share your idea of a summer staple for a chance to win a trip to the Grey Cup in Calgary. Here are the rules, and here’s where to enter!

And here’s that roasted cherry ice cream! If you don’t want to turn the oven on, simmer them on the stovetop with a bit of sugar (and a squirt of lemon juice, if you want to bump up the acidity a bit) until they soften and release some of their juices. Hope you’re having a happy summer!

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream


July 23, 2019


2-3 cups BC cherries, pitted

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 1/2 cups whipping cream (35%)

1 1/2 cups half and half or 2% milk

3 large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

pinch salt


1Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the pitted cherries out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle them with 1/4 cup sugar and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until soft and juicy-watch it toward the end, so that the edge of the sticky syrup doesn't start to burn. Scrape into a bowl and set aside to cool - if you like, mash them with your spatula or potato masher to rough them up a bit.

2Meanwhile, heat both creams in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. When the cream is steaming, whisk a ladle of hot cream into the yolk mixture, then whisk it back into the saucepan of cream, whisking briskly until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.

3Churn the cold custard in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions until it's the consistency of soft ice cream; with the motor running, add the cherries and any syrup that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. If you like, scrape into a bowl, container or loaf pan, cover and freeze to firm it up a bit more. Makes about 1 1/2L.


About Julie

12 comments on “Blog Flog: Roasted Cherry Ice Cream

  1. J. Ann Griffin
    July 24, 2019 at 7:54 am

    I’m new to making I’ve cream. About how much does this make? After you stir in the cherries, do you return to the freezer? If so, for how long?

    • Julie
      July 28, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      It’s soft and ready to eat right away, or you can firm it up in the freezer for as long as you need to. It makes about 2L? Hard to tell as I keep dipping my spoon in… 🙂

  2. Heather Traub
    July 31, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    What type of ice cream maker do you use? I think I have to get one now!

    • Julie
      August 5, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      I’ve always had a Cuisinart!

  3. Kim
    August 6, 2019 at 8:53 am

    I finally got around to making this yesterday – what a good idea to roast the cherries! Delicious and a fabulus colour. I also have a two-quart Cuisinart and it’s great. The only tricky part is getting all the ice-cream out of the frozen cylinder at the end, because it welds itself to the sides.

    This recipe leaves you with three egg whites and probably half a cup of whipping cream – I made a batch of meringues and had cherry eton mess as a bonus.

    • Julie
      August 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Huge bonus! and yes, I just bought a new Cuisinart ice cream machine after my old one died (after some 20 years…) and it tends to leave far more of the ice cream stuck frozen to the sides…

  4. Heather Traub
    August 6, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Dashed out and bought a Cuisinart. Made two batches of the roasted cherry – rave reviews. Then tried a maple butter pecan. Also delicious. I’m hoping my efforts scraping out the frozen cylinder offset my nibbling of the ice cream! Fantastic summer activity. Thanks for the inspiration, Julie.

  5. lakshmi
    August 17, 2019 at 6:39 am

    wow. Its great. I was tried this same recipe more than 3 times but finally its ready to taste. Thank you for this great ice cream.

  6. Heather
    August 22, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    So how about using sour cherries? We have a ton!

    • Julie
      August 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      Definitely! you may need to up the sugar a bit though!

  7. Heather Traub
    August 28, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Sour cherries worked beautifully. Increased the sugar very slightly, and increased the roasting time because the fruit was so juicy. Watched it like a hawk though!

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