We try to spend as much time as we can in the mountains enjoying the outdoors during the summer months. One of our favorite places to hit is the Gold Lakes of the Sierras. Along highway 49 there is a stop called Bassetts Station. Bassetts Station is basically the entire town housed in one building. There is a motel, they sell gas, there is a diner, you can buy groceries (well some groceries), grab a case of beer and enjoy some really delicious ice cream. My favorite flavor is their Black Cherry Ice Cream. Last week we stopped by to pick up ice and grab some beer, and we decided to indulge in an ice cream. With every lick, I kept thinking about how I needed to up my cherry ice cream game. So, I came home and created this summertime recipe for Roasted Cherry Buttermilk Ice Cream with Bourbon.
Every summer I make it a goal to create at least one new ice cream flavor. We tend not to have sweets around the house very often, but when summer hits, it is kind of mandatory. One cannot enjoy summer without at least a couple scoops of a luscious ice cream. With summer rushing on by I feel like I need to really up my ice cream game and I have a few ideas to complete before that last ray of summer sun. First things first, I knew with cherry season around I had to play with some sun-kissed cherries so we could enjoy an even more improved remake of that delicious cherry ice cream we enjoyed at Bassetts Station.
I tend to make all of my ice cream recipes with a rich custard base and this was no exception. I used some amazing farm fresh eggs that I scored at the farmer’s market and their bright yolks help create a beautiful yellow tint to my custard base. Gosh, I really love that. I also roasted the cherries which I find makes their flavor even more intense. Bourbon purely adds another depth and a bit of sophistication to the mix. It is completely optional and this recipe will work just fine without as well. Did I mention this is my third batch in a week so I was able to sample both ways? I like to roast a few extra cherries to toss on top when serving, but again, that is completely up to you!
Roasted Cherry Buttermilk Ice Cream with Bourbon
** makes almost 1 1/2 quarts
1/2 pound dark cherries
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
5 egg yolks
2 cups whole fat buttermilk
1/4 cup bourbon – optional
Pit the cherries and cut in half. Place into a bowl, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar and let sit for 30 minutes to bring out the juices.
Preheat the oven to 250.
Place the cherry mixture onto a baking sheet and place into the oven. Roast for 60 minutes. I set the timer for 30 minutes, stir and then set for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Then place the cherries along with any juices into a small container or jar, cover, and place into the refrigerator.
In a medium-sized saucepan mix the heavy cream with the sugar and simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and small bubbles form.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour in the heated cream, whisking the entire time so the eggs do not scramble.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and over low heat while stirring the entire time cook the mixture until it coats the back of a spoon. Do not stop stirring.
Strain the mixture through a sieve into a mixing bowl.
Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla bean paste and the bourbon. Cover the mixing bowl with wrap and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Making the ice cream:
Following your ice cream maker’s instructions by pouring the custard base into the maker. Begin churning and half way through add the cherries. Continue the process according to the instructions with your machine.
Pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze for at least two hours before serving.
I like to roast some extra cherries to serve on top but this is not mandatory.