Sour Cherry Ice-Cream Without An Ice-Cream Maker

I do not recommend trying to make ice-cream at a 4-H Camp without an ice-cream maker, without electricity, in 90 ° F weather (32 C) and in 20 minutes. It just  The kids were good sports about tossing or shaking leaky bags full of ice, but it was a complete failure. They were also very good sports about the eating the “milk shake”; at least there were roasted bananas and cherries to go with that… sigh…


But you can make ice-cream without an ice-cream maker –  and pretty decent ones at that. Oh, sure, it won’t be as smooth as ice-cream churned in an ice-cream maker; yet you can do pretty well if you select assertive sweet-tart fruit at their peak of ripeness, so that flavor – not texture – is what every body notices. And the texture is not bad, just a little rougher than my other ice-creams – and far smoother than granita or shaved ice.  But you do need electricity.

With my recent sour cherry bonanza, I really had a chance to play around a little. Sour cherries are fairly fragile, oxidizing fast when destemmed or pitted. As I picked, I pitted (and pitted, and pitted … I said that already, didn’t I?). What did not get eaten fresh, jammed, syruped or baked right away went into the freezer in one-cup bags. The idea was to use them in winter – mostly for baking.

The reality is that it’s been unusually hot, I mean it’s been hot early and continuously. So we’ve been hankering for coolness on the plate, and with the summer berries barely starting and the stone fruit weeks away, frozen sour cherries were too tantalizing for us to wait 6 months before eating them.

You see where that’s going, don’t you? Frozen fruits, cream and sweetener. A blender. The freezer.

Although I have not yet tried it (not the season yet), I expect this recipe would work equally well with raspberries, blackberries, wineberries – any fruit with a tart undertone and a beautiful color. For blueberries or sweet cherries it may be necessary to add some lemon juice to reach a pleasant tartness. Use a complementary syrup, or ahead of time warm up some of the cream with 3/4 cup sugar stirring until sugar is fully diluted. Let cool before using.

Sour Cherry Ice-Cream Without An Ice-Cream Maker

  • 2 cups sour cherries
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cherry syrup (homemade or purchased – a good quality one)
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, minced
  1. Four hours or more before you want to eat the ice-cream (well, yes, there is a catch, if you don’t have an ice-cream maker, you need to be a little patient), process all ingredients in the blender until smooth (but not too much – you still want to see the flecks of the cherry skins). This will have the consistency of a smoothie.
  2. Pour into a shallow container – metal preferably – and put in the freezer. Once an hour or so, stir the concoction with a fork.
  3. Serve when sufficiently hardened (about 4 hours) or transfer to a storage container with a lid. We are still eating from a batch made a week ago, and the texture is fine!

3 thoughts on “Sour Cherry Ice-Cream Without An Ice-Cream Maker”

  • Thanks for the inspiration, again, Sylvie. Our little sour cherry tree in Saint Paul is ready to pick, and I believe I see cherry ice cream in our near future!

    Cheers~ Brett


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