You will be so happy that you tried this recipe for Mascarpone Sour Cherry Ice Cream. If you can't find fresh sour cherries, frozen sour cherries will also work for this recipe. To learn how to make this deliciously rich, creamy and tart treat read further to get the details.
I discovered the joys of sour cherries a few years ago while wandering through the local Farmers Market. I bought a few to try them in a sour cherry pie, which I absolutely loved. But by the time I went back for more, the season at least locally was over.
How to Make Mascarpone Ice Cream
The recipe for the mascarpone ice cream is from the cookbook A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti. I have a few of her books and if you love ice cream I recommend getting her ice cream book. It's full of amazing ice cream flavors and dessert combinations.
One of the most important tips for this recipe is to not let the custard boil otherwise it will produce a gritty texture. I experienced this mistake myself when I let the custard get to the point that bubbles starting popping through the surface. I didn't realize how gritty it was until after I combined it with the mascarpone. Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the custard and remove it from the heat when it is between 175 and 180 degrees F.
Place the mascarpone in a bowl with a fine mesh strainer over it near the stove. When the custard has reached the right temperature pour it through the sieve (to catch any egg solids) directly onto the mascarpone. Do not scrape the bottom of the pan. Use a whisk to gently stir the cooked custard and the mascarpone together until thoroughly combined.
The custard is initially cooled to room temperature in an ice bath so make sure you have plenty of ice on hand. Place enough ice in a large bowl to cover the bottom, place the bowl of custard on top and then add ice around the bowl.
The final custard is rich and creamy because of the addition of the mascarpone. I love mascarpone and prefer it to cream cheese because of the richness and smooth flavor. If you cannot get mascarpone you replace it with an equal amount of cream cheese.
How to Roast Sour Cherries
I love roasting fruit. Cooking the fruit brings out the natural sweetness and depending on what you are making makes it perfect for addition for other dishes or for jam. See my recipes for Strawberry Hand Pies and Roasted Peach Bread Pudding to get the instructions for roasting strawberries and peaches.
For this recipe I used a sour cherry called Balaton. I think the most common type is Montmorency. The Balatons are dark red and sweeter than the Montmorency.
The cherries are roasted in a ceramic dish. For this amount of cherries use a dish that is at least 3 quarts so the cherries are in a single layer. As the cherries roast, they will darken and be slightly shriveled when done.
The final cherry mixture for the ice cream is a combination of puree and whole cherries. Roasting the cherries removes moisture from the cherries, which mean that the pieces of cherry will remain soft and chewable.
I don't have an ice cream container, so I froze the ice cream in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. I wrapped the container tightly in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and it worked. The final ice cream is creamy, tart and delicious.
I hope you make this dessert while sour cherries are available. The season is short and while roasting the cherries takes more effort, the final flavor of the ice cream is well worth the effort.
- Ice Cream Maker
Mascarpone Ice Cream Base
- 4 (80 grams) egg yolks
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) white granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 grams) mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Roasted Sour Cherries
- 4 cups (298 grams) pitted sour cherries
- 1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Mascarpone Ice Cream
- Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and stir with a rubber spatula. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl. The finished custard will be poured through the strainer.
- In a 4 quart non-reactive heavy saucepan combine the milk, the heavy cream and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Warm the milk cream mixture over medium low heat until small bubbles from at the edges of the pan.
- In a medium bowl combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and salt and whisk together into the egg yolks are lighter in color. Slowly pour half the warm milk mixture into the egg-sugar mixture whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium low heat stirring constantly with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon until the custard reaches 180 degrees F and slightly thickened. Do not let the custard boil or will have a grainy texture.
- Strain the custard into the bowl with the mascarpone cheese. Whisk until the mixture in smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the lemon juice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or until completely chilled.
- This recipe make 4 1/2 cups of custard.
For the Roasted Sour Cherries
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- To get 4 cups of pitted sour cherries you will need about 2 pounds of cherries. For roasting the cherries, you will need a ceramic dish that is about 3 quarts so the cherries lay in a single layer.
- Combine the cherries, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Place the cherries in ceramic dish in a single layer.
- Roast the cherries for 15 minutes, then stir with a large metal spoon and taste for the level of sweetness. If you want the cherries sweeter, add 1/4 cup of sugar, stir and return to the oven. Roast for another 10 minutes, test again for sweetness and add the remaining 1/4 of sugar if you prefer. Roast the cherries for another 10-15 minutes just until the cherries start to shrivel and are darker in color.
- Scrape the cherries into a metal bowl and cool to room temperature. Place about 2/3 of the cherries in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the skins. Combine with the whole cherries and set aside. You should have about 1 1/4 cups of pureed and whole cherries.
For the Mascarpone Sour Cherry Ice Cream
- Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop the soft ice cream into a large bowl and swirl in all but 1/4 cup of the cherry puree. Place the ice cream into freezable container and freeze for about 4 hours.
- If the ice cream machine has an open top add the cherry puree in large spoonfuls to the ice cream in the machine during the last couple of minutes of churning. This method will also create a nice swirl.
- Serve and top with some of the remaining cherry puree.