Bing Cherry-Dark Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

by Sarah on June 14, 2010

My neighbor has a small orchard of fruit, cherries and plums, growing along our shared fence.  He is nice enough to share and I am smart enough not to look a gift horse in the mouth.  But what to do with half-a-treefull of bing cherries, ripening more rapidly than perhaps one is prepared to handle?   I think one should eat as many as one can handle, then you make ice cream.  How about some bing cherry-dark chocolate-vanilla bean ice cream?  Yeah, I thought that sounded good too.

Cream, milk, cherries, kirsch, vanilla bean and chocolate.  Oh, and sugar.

Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan and add the sugar.

Scrape out the insides of a vanilla bean and put into the cream.  Toss the bean in too, just for the heck of it.  If you want to save the pod for vanilla sugar or something, go ahead, it won’t alter the ice cream at all.

Heat the cream mixture until little bubbles form along the edges of the pan, but don’t let it come to a boil.  Strain the mixture into a bowl.

Add the cherries.  I’ve of course pitted them, but I also tore them into pieces.

Add a touch of kirsch, just to amp up the cherry flavor.  You can leave it out if booze isn’t your thing.

Let the mixture chill completely in the fridge.  At this point, I chopped up about 1/2 a bar of good dark chocolate, and added it into the cream.

Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions.  When the ice cream is made–and too soft–put it into a plastic container and freeze thoroughly.

It tastes somewhat like Cherry Garcia.  Which is a good thing, I think.

Hurry up!  Cherry season isn’t going to last forever.  Although you can use frozen cherries too, if you’re in a real pickle.

Enjoy your summer!  Eat more ice cream.

Bing Cherry-Dark Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


  • 2 cups manufacturing cream or heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and inside scraped out
  • 1 lb. bing cherries, pitted and torn or cut in half
  • 2-3 Tbsp kirsch (optional)
  • 1/2 dark chocolate bar, cut into chunks


  • In a saucepan over medium flame, heat the cream, milk and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vanilla bean. Heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, but do not bring to a boil.
  • Remove pan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Strain over a bowl. Add the cherries and the kirsch. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  • Chop chocolate. Add into the chilled cream mixture. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to your machine's instructions. Freeze completely before serving.

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