Sunday, July 5, 2015

Jeni's goat cheese ice cream with roasted red cherries

Soft, tangy goat cheese is the secret to this ice cream base. Pair it with sweet, roasted red cherries and you've got yourself a winning frozen treat! No wonder this flavor is a hit with Jeni's fanatics.

I would consider myself a fan of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, even though I have never set foot in one of her scoop shops nor bought any of her ice creams at the grocery store. I've been making my own versions through recipes I found on the internet and through her cookbooks.

A flavor that my college roommate recommended was Jeni's goat cheese ice cream with roasted red cherries.  Since I'm getting more comfortable making Jeni's ice cream base, I decided to experiment and try this new flavor combination. It sounded intriguing - a tangy ice cream base with a sweet cherry swirl. When I explained this flavor to my parents, they scoffed, but if they only knew what they were missing out on!


I was lucky that my biweekly CSA delivery included a small pint of cherries in the box. Rather than eat them, I sacrificed these pitted beauties for my ice cream. I didn't have enough cherries and wound up having to buy some frozen cherries, but that's a story for another day.

Addie was so excited to help me buy the goat cheese at the store. She kept saying "goat cheese" and asking where it came from. My little foodie-in-training even watched me make the ice cream, even though she got impatient during the process. She got to taste test the ice cream base and the roasted cherries, and she enthusiastically gave each ingredient a big thumbs up before we set the container in the freezer to harden.

The resulting ice cream was nothing short of fantastic. The ice cream base had a hint of the tang from the goat cheese and certainly was not overwhelming at all. The roasted cherries provided a nice, bright, fruity flavor plus a textural change from the smooth goat cheese base. In fact, this ice cream has turned Addie into a cherry fan and she's already started concocting my next baking projects...

Goat cheese ice cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh goat cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
Roasted red cherries
  • 2 cups red cherries, washed, pitted and stemmed (if using frozen, do not thaw)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
Directions
Make the ice cream base: First, mix 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. Set this aside. Reserve the remaining milk and keep it separate.


Place cream cheese, goat cheese and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar and syrup. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes and stir in slurry.

Return the mixture back to a boil and continue to stir and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

At this point, you have two options. You can either set the ice cream over an ice bath (pour the contents into a large zip-top bag, seal it shut and place it over a large bowl with ice cubes), or put it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Once the mixture is completely cool, churn it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Roast the cherries: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the cherries, sugar and corn starch together until the cherries are fully coated and the mixture is uniform. Line a tall baking pan (I used a 9"x13" lined with aluminum foil) and transfer the cherries mixture onto the pan.

Roast for 30-35 minutes or until the cherries are soft. Immediately transfer the cherries and resulting juices to a small bowl and allow to cool completely. Do not leave the cherries on the pan in case the sugar starts hardening. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Assemble the ice cream: Transfer a layer of ice cream into a container. Then add on a layer of roasted cherries. Repeat, ending with a layer of cherries on the top. Set the container in the freezer until it has hardened (at least 4 hours).

Yield: About 1 quart

Source: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

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