We appear to be having a cherry pit-fest over here at eggbeater. Welcome, take a seat, but don't eat candied stones from strangers. Not everyone has your best interest at heart.
One of the many commenters on this controversial post asked why did I not give a recipe for Cherry Pit Ice Cream after I waxed, or cackled-- depending on how you look at it, poetic on the elusive subject. And so, not one to say a unilateral no to requests, here is the recipe.
Find my notes on ice cream from scratch here. In that post there are 3 links to other people who had the time to type out how to make creme anglaise-- the liquid base for many ice cream recipes. If you need a lot of hints, check out what David Lebovitz has to say in his book The Perfect Scoop, or in his Ice Cream Tips category on his blog.
CHERRY PIT / NOYAUX ICE CREAM
Whole Milk 3 Cups
Heavy Cream* 1 Cup
Sugar 3/4 Cup
Large Egg Yolks 6-7
Smashed Cherry Pits 1 - 1 1/2 Cups
*Not ultra pasteurized or listing stabilizers on the carton.
Heat milk, cream, pits, and half the sugar, in that order, in heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan over low to medium heat. When hot to the touch, shut off heat, whisk and let steep 1-2 hours, tasting every 30 minutes.
When hot dairy tastes as strong as you'd like it (remembering that it will taste stronger in flavor and sweetness when it's hot), bring liquid to boil and pass through a fine meshed sieve, pressing on the solids to press out as much of the liquid as you can.
Make creme anglaise with scented liquid, being sure to chill in ice bath until chilled through and through. It is best eaten the day it is churned but will keep 5 days in a non-reactive container (I use glass) with a tight fitting lid in the coldest part of your fridge.
Creme anglaise recipes vary considerably because, 1. recipes are guides, and 2. recipes are about proportions. If you know what role an ingredient plays and who each ingredient relies on to make it be the best it can be, you can switch up most anything to suit your particular whim on a given day.
The proportion I start with for home ice cream makers is:
6-8 egg yolks
1Q liquid dairy
1/2 - 2/3 Cups sugar
My experience with home machines is that they prefer to have slightly less butterfat involved. In a commercial machine it's easy to make ice cream that cardiologists would call the police on you for, on the other hand. This is because of the amount of time an ice cream spends in the machine, physically getting churned. It's about how much chill a machine might be holding onto or being generated.
If you want the best homemade ice cream mouthfeel, eat churned ice cream as soon as it's ready. If you must put ice cream away for a few weeks or long days, about 20 minutes before you want to eat it, put container in your fridge. This will help "temper" the ice cream = get it to soften slowly, carefully and evenly. If your ice cream ingredients were high in sugar or alcohol, though, you might never get a hard set because these ingredients lower the freezing temperature of water and create smoother, more elastic, softer ice creams.
When making ice creams whose flavors depend on infusions it is of utmost importance that you taste as you go. All herbs, whether they be green or dried, come in varying strengths that only god can determine. Depending on the time of year, weather, and soil; various highly scented flowers, leaves, woods, herbs, spices and other infusables will make stronger or weaker impressions on your ice cream base.
butterfat is the magic carpet ride for flavor infusions in ice cream
if you are looking for a really minty ice cream made with nonfat milk, you are going to have to work really hard at getting that mint scent and flavor to stick to the inside of your mouth once the ice cream melts.
About 10% of flavor and perfume get lost when ice cream is frozen. Although ice cream melts in your mouth, your mouth gets really cold and has a harder and harder time distinguishing actual flavor the more bites, licks, nibbles and slurps you take.
Also, if you infuse ingredients that are high in fat, like nuts and coconut, they will leach out extra fat into the creme anglaise and you might want to make adjustments for that. Not to mention that with something like dessicated coconut you will lose a portion of your liquid to it re-constituting the dried flakes, so you'll need to be aware of that too.
You can also make ice cream without eggs but not all "alternative dairys" want to be cooked until 160-180F. so be sure to check into it before making an expensive mess in your kitchen.
I hope some of these hints help. I wish you much ice cream making this summer! If you feel like thanking me you may do so by pitching in to buy me a machine I have coveted some time now...