Amaretto Cherry Ice Cream – Creamy amaretto ice cream is layered with black cherries roasted in amaretto.
Guys – today you are in for a treat. I mean, all the recipes shared here are a treat but this one BLEW. ME. AWAY. So hold on to your hats!
This Amaretto Cherry Ice Cream is the best ice cream I’ve ever made. And I’ve made A LOT. I mean, I’ve celebrated National Ice Cream Month for the last 4 years by creating new ice cream recipes so I’ve tested a bunch of ice cream.
But this recipe takes the cake, uh I mean ice cream. Here are all the things I love about this ice cream:
- The subtle yet powerful almond flavor in the amaretto
- The luscious roasted black cherry sauce that is rippled throughout
- The way the amaretto and black cherries work in unison to make the flavors dance in your mouth
I am obsessed with this ice cream and I really hope you go through the effort to make it. You won’t find anything like it in stores so trust me, it’s sooooo worth it!
Making this ice cream
This ice cream involved three major steps:
- Making and freezing the ice cream
- Roasting the cherries
- Layering the two into the final product
Amaretto Ice Cream
This ice cream is made with mostly milk and sugar. They are heated over a stove top with cornstarch to help thicken it up. Once thicken, cream cheese is whisked in to help stabilize the ice cream and keep it creamy, even when frozen.
Finally, almond extract, vanilla extract, and amaretto are added for flavor. The mixture is then chilled before it get’s frozen in an ice cream machine.
Fresh black cherries are pitted and then added to a roasting pan with sugar, cornstarch, and amaretto. They’re roasted and then slightly mashed to release all the juices.
Finally, we add in another splash of amaretto to finish them off. A good amount of the amaretto cooked out during the roasted process and left a sweet, rich flavor. The splash of more amaretto brings all that out.
The cherries are then chilled until it’s time to assemble the ice cream into layers.
Assembling the Ice Cream
Once the ice cream has been frozen in an ice cream machine (according to manufacturer instrcutions) it’s layered with the roasted cherries in a rectangular storage container. The reason we layer instead of stirring them together is to keep the two flavors distinct. You end up with an amaretto ice cream with swirls of roasted cherries and sauce.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s very important not to stir the cherries into the ice cream when layering the two together. The roasted cherries and sauce are meant to create a ripple through the ice cream and if you mix them together, you won’t achieve that.
- You can use frozen cherries if fresh cherries are not in season. Just don’t thaw them before baking.
- The ice cream mixture and roasted cherries must be chilled before making the ice cream. Other wise, the ice cream will take too long to freeze and could become icy. Additionally, warm cherries will also prevent the ice cream from getting solid and could also cause ice crystals to form.
Amaretto Cherry Ice Cream
For the amaretto ice cream base:
- 2⅔ cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto liquor
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the roasted amaretto cherries:
- 2 cups black cherries pitted
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoon Amaretto liquor
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons milk and cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside. Grab a large bowl and fill it with 2 cups of ice and 1 cup of water. Nest another bowl into that bowl so that it’s sitting on the ice water. Place a strainer on top of the inner bowl. Set this setup aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes then add in slurry. Continue cooking for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, add softened cream cheese and whisk to smooth it out. Add about 1/4 cup of heated milk mixture and whisk together until smooth. Add mixture back to rest of milk.
- Pour mixture through mesh sieve into chilled bowl. Stir to cool down the mixture. Add amaretto, almond extract, and vanilla extract and stir together. Place plastic wrap on top of milk mixture to prevent film from forming on top. Chill in refrigerator until really cold, at least 4 hours.
- While the mixture is chilling, make the roasted cherries. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cherries, cornstarch, and sugar in cake pan (square or rectangle is fine). Add in 1/3 cup of amaretto and stir together. Roast in oven for 35-40 minutes, or until juices have thickened. Remove from oven and mashed the cherries using a potato mashing. Stir in the last 2 tablespoons of amaretto and let the cherries cool to room temperature. Place in a medium bowl, cover, and chill in refrigerator until we use them later.
- Once the amaretto ice cream base has chilled, it's time to freeze it. Freeze ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions (mine took about 15 minutes to freeze).
- When the ice cream is finished, spread half of it into rectangular glass container with a lid. Spoon in roasted cherries and sauce and lay in dollops but do not mix. Repeat layer one more time and then spread top of the ice cream into one flat layer. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream and then cover with the lid. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.