Cardamon Cherry Ice Cream

I have been waiting in anticipation for cherry season, ever since I baked this Rolled Oats, Cardamon and Cherries Upside Down Cake back in July 2011. I could not shake how brilliant the trifecta flavor combination was. Long story short, after an exasperating brainstorming session, I decided to forgo the oats, and annul this oat-cherry-cardamon love triangle and stay with the happy cardamon-cherry coupling. It's clean. It's bright. It's deliciously refreshing.
I really wanted to give you the 411 on cherries but instead I wish to share with you some odds and ends. Items that made me smile this week & interesting, mostly food bits, I came across.

The hilarity of The Last Jewish Waiter  made me smile one morning when I needed it most. I also love his posts that do not necessarily correspond to the videos. If you've been to Katz's in NYC, you would totally get it. If you haven't, I hope this will make you crack a smile. Katz's, still the best pastrami on rye out there.

Smart answers in this interview Robert Sietsema's New York Taste Buds. Robert Sietsema is by far one of the most credible food critics out there. His sudden departure from The Village Voice took the food world by surprise. Although he is NYC-centric, I enjoyed his California and DC food roundups too.

If you are interested in Indian cooking I love Manjula's Kitchen's videos. She is vegetarian. Manjula is not about glitz and glamour, though she does have a new hair do. Equally beautiful, her cooking is authentic and simple to follow.

Cardamon Cherry Ice Cream

2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
4 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups 5% milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4-1/3 ground cardamon
5 egg yolks
1 Madagascar vanilla bean
1 1/2 whipping cream

In a medium bowl with a lid add the cherries and 4 tablespoons of sugar. Mix and keep refrigerated overnight.

Whisk the yolks lightly in a medium heat resistant bowl.

Keep the ice cream containers and lids in the freezer.

In a non reactive medium sauce pan with a heavy bottom add the milk, sugar and cardamon. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the inside. Add the scraped seeds and bean to the milk. Turn the heat to low medium heat and mix with a spatula once or twice to make sure the sugar is dissolved.

Once bubbles start appearing around the edge of the pot, add 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the egg yolks in 2-3 increments while constantly whisking the egg yolks. This process is called tempering. Add the tempered egg yolks into the sauce pan while constantly whisking for up to 10 minutes. The milk/yolk mixture will turn into a light thin custard. Remove from the heat and pour the custard base into a heat resistant bowl with a lid. Let completely cool and refrigerate overnight.

Whip the whipping cream in a mixer on medium/high speed until stiff. Strain the custard base through a sieve into the whipping cream and mix well with a rubber spatula. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Once it reaches a soft serve consistency, strain the cherries and add them to the ice cream maker. Churn for a few seconds longer until the cherries are evenly incorporated. Scoop into the pre-chilled containers. Cover with a lid and keep in the freezer, ideally overnight, before serving.

If you do not own an ice cream maker, look at the tips in this Salted Caramel Ice Cream post for an alternative ice cream making method.

Cook's notes:
1. Save the egg whites for meringue cookies or macarons.
2. Save the macerated cherry juice/liquid. It's delicious. Use it to moisten cakes or infuse custards.
3. More often than not I skip or forget to pre-chill the ice cream containers and lids in the freezer, but when I do remember, I get an unexplained enormous sense of satisfaction. I even chilled the rubber spatula I used to scoop the churned ice cream from the ice cream maker into the chilled containers. No guarantees I will be as good next time, but it's a good tip regardless.

More tips in the three part ice cream series:
Strawberry Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream
Dairy-Free Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream

Related frozen desserts links:
Capitolina's Indian Kulfi Ice Cream
Frozen Strawberry Yogurt
Rum Raisin Ice Cream
Persimmon, Kaffir Lime, Lemongrass and Purple Basil Sorbet
Madagascar Vanilla Bean Banana Ice Cream
Coffee Ice Cream
Lemondrop Melon Limonana Sorbet
Fig Gelato - Two Ways
Mango Sorbet
Pineapple Sorbet