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Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Cherries

26 Jul


I love making homemade ice cream when we have friends over. The dessert is made ahead of time and friends are always so impressed with the fact that it’s “homemade.” Frankly, once you have an ice cream maker, homemade ice cream is pretty darn simple to make.

And this recipe is the simplest of all ice creams I’ve made because it doesn’t require a custard base like most homemade ice creams. I first had this ice cream at Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream in Columbus, OH. Jeni’s is always a required stop when I visit my brother and sister-in-law. While we have wonderful gourmet ice cream in San Francisco (Humphrey Slocombe and Bi-Rite), Jeni’s flavors are so creative and delectable that I had to figure out a way to have them more than the once or twice a year I get to Columbus.

Jeni’s Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Cherries is my hands down favorite. I know — goat cheese in ice cream seems a little weird at first but if you’ve ever had goat cheese drizzled with honey, you know that it works just as well with sweet as it does with savory. I started with cheesecake ice cream recipes and re-jiggered them to accommodate the goat cheese. To avoid making the ice cream too “goat-y,” I used a ratio of 2-to-1 goat cheese to cream cheese.

As for the cherries, I considered making my own cherry compote with fresh or frozen cherries, depending on what I could find. However, when I saw the jarred Morello cherries in light syrup at Trader Joe’s, I realized I had my secret ingredient.

I put everything together and let my ice cream machine do its magic. Success! The tang of goat cheese tempered with cream, milk and sugar then paired with sweet cherries makes for a party in your mouth.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Cherries

6 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt

1 cup Morello cherries*, drained and coarsely chopped

1) Puree the goat cheese, cream cheese, sugar, milk, heavy cream, lemon juice and salt in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

2) Pour cheese mixture into the work bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the machine’s instructions. (In my Cuisenart machine, it took about 20 minutes).

3) Transfer frozen mixture to container and stir in cherries. Cover container and freezer at least 6 hours before serving.

Makes about 6 cups
* Can be found in canned fruit section at Trader Joe’s

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