Growing up, there was a great ice cream place downtown that made their own ice cream. I used to love going there to get their homemade cherry vanilla flavor. It was always one of my favorites and every once in a while I get a craving for it.
So, given the season, I decided to make Cherry Blossom Ice Cream. Cherry Blossoms are huge in our area, just like apples. So, those two things always make me think of home. They Cherry Blossom Festival DC is always great. I loved driving past the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial everyday during this time of year. So beautiful.
I’ve never cooked with real vanilla beans before, and this recipe is the start of a beautiful friendship between us. WOW! The taste is like nothing else! It really can’t compare to extract. It’s so vibrant and pure. If you don’t want to make the full recipe and just want to make the vanilla bean, then go for it. I certainly enjoyed some of the plain vanilla before I swirled in the homemade cherry preserves.
Cherry Blossom Ice Cream
½ lb cherries, washed and pitted
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add all the cherry preserves ingredients. Allow to simmer until cherries become soft and break apart (About 15-20 minutes).
3. Use a spoon to break apart the cherries. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
4. Remove from heat and place preserves in a heat safe dish. First, allow to cool to room temperature, and then place in the refrigerator.
5. Place a medium saucepan over low heat.
6. Add coconut milks, syrup, and egg yolks.
7. Cut vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the inside. Add to coconut milk mixture, along with the pod. Whisk to combine everything.
8. Stir constantly on low heat so that they mixture does not boil. Stir for about 15 minutes.
9. After 15 minutes, put the vanilla bean base in a bowl in the refrigerator. Leave the pod in the sauce and allow to sit about 30 minutes.
10. After 30 minutes, remove vanilla bean base from refrigerator and remove the pod. Make sure to squeeze the pod between your fingers into the bowl to get all the leftover extract out. Discard the pod.
11. Turn on your ice cream maker and pour in vanilla bean base. Allow to churn for at least an hour.
12. Once it has reached the consistency of “ice cream”, turn off the ice cream maker and scoop your fresh coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream into a freezer safe dish.
13. Remove the preserves from the refrigerator, use a spoon to swirl them into the vanilla. To do that, use a spoon to make rows of the preserves on top of the vanilla and then run the spoon back and forth to swirl the two together.
14. Cover and place into the freezer, to allow the two flavors to meld together, for at least two hours.