Why should salads and veggie dishes get all the garden glory? California pastry chef Lei Shishak uses seasonal fruit in this magnificent book of farm-to-table desserts. From cakes and pastries to ice cream, popsicles and puddings, there’s a recipe for every fruit craving under the sun. These cherry ice cream sandwiches are a refreshing summer treat.
These cherry ice cream sandwiches are always a showstopper. I roast the cherries first to release their juices, ensuring that the resulting ice cream is super flavorful. All the components need to be made the day before, so plan ahead. Cherries have a distinct season that begins in early June and lasts through August. By September they are virtually gone from the markets, so make sure to get your cherry fill within those months.
Ice Cream Base
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pound cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon rum or kirsch
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the ice cream
Bring the milk, heavy cream, and half the sugar to a boil over high heat. Whisk the remaining sugar and yolks in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in half of the hot milk mixture to the bowl, one cup at a time. Pour egg mixture into the pot and cook over medium heat until liquid thickens, stirring constantly (do not boil).
Strain mixture into a large container. Stir in the extracts. Press down a layer of plastic wrap on top of the surface and keep in refrigerator to cool overnight.
For the cherries
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the cherries, sugar, and rum in a large bowl. Transfer to a baking pan and roast in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes until thick and bubbly, stirring every 15 minutes. Let sit on counter to cool.
For the cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet and line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two shorter sides.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Mix until incorporated, about 1 minute more. Make sure to scrape the bowl to ensure ingredients are fully combined.
Using a mini offset spatula, spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Make sure to smooth the top. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
For the ice cream sandwiches
Gently remove the chocolate cookie from the pan and invert it onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment, cut the cake in half, and place one of the halves on a large piece of foil.
Remove the ice cream base from the refrigerator, fold in the roasted cherries, and churn in an ice cream maker. Using a mini offset spatula, spread the ice cream over the cake half that is on the foil. Slide the other cake half off the cutting board and onto the ice cream. Press down gently. Wrap the foil up and around the assembled dessert. Place in the freezer at least 4 hours.
When ice cream is fully set, remove the dessert from the freezer and trim the edges if necessary. Cut the rectangle into 8 pieces. Individually wrap each ice cream sandwich with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil and tape to seal. Store the sandwiches in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a week.