goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries and dark chocolate freckles
If you thought I was excited about the roasted strawberry ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home, just wait till you hear about this one. I am seriously in love with this goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the goat cheese, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of flavor that it added to the ice cream. To be honest, I don’t think I would have ever guessed it was goat cheese if I did I blind taste test, perhaps in part because it’s not an ingredient that I expect in my ice cream.
I’ve been anxious to try this recipe for a while, but was not so patiently waiting for cherry prices to drop first. When they were suddenly $2.98 a pound, I grabbed a big bag of cherries, did a little dance, and pulled out my OXO cherry pitter. For the cheese I used a Vermont goat cheese that we picked up on a day trip to Southern Vermont that we took to restock on maple syrup, cheese, more cheese, and supplies at the King Arthur Flour store (oh how I love Vermont!!). When you’re using fresh local ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong!
Following a trend that I just can’t seem to break, I decided that I just had to add some chocolate to Jeni’s recipe. With the big bold cherries, it just seemed like a natural choice and frankly, we love chocolate around here. Both Joseph and I really liked the stracciatella effect in the roasted strawberry ice cream, so we decided to do that again, but of course you could make brownies like in this raspberry swirl with brownie ice cream. Drizzling melted chocolate into the ice cream in the final stages of churning speckles the entire batch of ice cream with wonderful little freckles of chocolate. While you can certainly make the ice cream without the chocolate and it would still be quite delicious, I think that the trio of chocolate with the roasted cherries and goat cheese is what makes this ice cream so completely out of this world.
Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries and Dark Chocolate Freckles
For Roasted Cherries:
- 2 cups pitted fresh or frozen (not thawed) red or black cherries
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For Ice Cream Base:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh goat cheese
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not use chocolate chips)
Make the cherries
- Combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch in a 9-inch square baking dish, tossing to mix. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until the juices are thickened and bubbly, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator.
Make the ice cream
- Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the goat cheese, cream cheese, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into the frozen canister of electric ice cream freezer and run according to directions of ice cream maker. While the ice cream is churning, prepare the chocolate by melting it over a double boiler. Transfer the melted chocolate to a container with a spout, such as a liquid measuring cup or a squeeze bottle. When the ice cream is nearly finished churning, add the chocolate, drizzling it in as thin a stream as possible.
- Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of the cherries and ending with a spoonful of cherries; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.