The Soup Blog
Recipes, Culinary Insights & Humor Spooned Up Fresh Every Week…………………(Now in its Ice Cream Phase)
Baskin Robbery: Burgundy Cherry-esque Ice Cream
Categories: Fruit, Ice Cream

Not your father's ice cream, it's totally cherry

In a writing class I’ve been taking, the instructor told us that there were only a limited number of stories out there. Writers rework them, reset them, recast them and reimagine them. But it’s essentially the same handful of plots that get retold over and over and over again.

(Sounds a bit like this blog.)

Not that this is anything new. Back in the eigthteenth century, poets were writing about this same thing and Shakespeare himself borrowed most of his stories from earlier works.

Everybody steals. Some are just more artful about it.

Of course, in the literary world, they don’t call it thievery. Instead writers make allusions, references or tributes to previous work. And since we writers are mostly an underfunded lot, the phrase is always to make tribute rather than to pay it.

I wish I were different. I may have a novel voice or style or form (or not), but my recipes are mostly just adaptations or “homages”.

Take this week’s recipe. I certainly did.

Back in my younger days, the only ice cream shop we had was Baskin Robbins, known locally as 31 Flavors, because that’s how many they started with. Their featured flavors changed every couple of weeks but they always had the same old standbys as well, besides vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, I mean. They also had pistachio, rocky road, pralines and cream, rainbow sherbert and, my favorite, burgundy cherry.

At the time, I didn’t know what burgundy cherries were. I just knew the ice cream was sweet and its flavor was cherry-esque. I have since learned that burgundy cherries are the dark-skinned cousins of the maraschino cherry, the super-sweetened, neon red, processed cherry I swore off once I heard how they were made in chemistry class. And, naturally, my eldest daughter loves them.

Now that I knew what they were, however, burgundy cherries were not going to work for me. They’re just too industrial. Apparently they don’t work for Baskin Robbins anymore either as they now call this flavor Cherries Jubilee. I, on the other hand, had to do a little experimenting.

In an effort to bypass my frozen fruit difficulties (see here and here), I started with dried dark sweet cherries which I reconstituted by soaking them in cherry cider. Alas, they were too bitter and were the only things left in the bowl when my daughters were done with their large “trial” portions.

Next I tried fresh dark sweet cherries (which to my tastes are a lot like Bing cherries), taking care to add them only at the end of the freezing process so they didn’t become too icy. The result was not too bad.

Was it as good as my childhood memories?

Is anything?

Burgundy Cherry-esque Ice Cream
(about 2 quarts)
1 ½ cup milk
¾ cup sugar
2 T flour
A few grains salt
2 eggs or 3 yolks (pasteurized, if possible, see note)
1 ½ cup cream
½ -1cup cherry syrup
Cherry Syrup
            1 cup cherry cider
            ½ cup granulated sugar
1-2 cups fresh cherries (dark sweet, bing, your call), halved and pitted

  1. Heat milk to 180-190ºF with sugar, flour and salt, stirring until thick, cover for 10 minutes.
  2. Beat eggs and add ½ cup of mixture while beating, then add eggs to mixture.

HEALTH NOTE:     Since you’re dealing with eggs here, you need to take care when cooking the custard. Too much cooking and the custard gets lumpy, too little and you risk salmonella.  Another alternative is to use pasteurized eggs.

  1. Heat the mixture for one minute over medium, then cool with plastic wrap or wax paper pressed onto the top of the mixture to keep it from developing a skin. Cool for several hours or overnight.
  2. In the meantime, make cherry syrup by heating the cherry cider in a small sauce pan and stirring in the sugar until it dissolves. When the sugar has dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
  3. Add the cream and the cherry syrup to the cooled custard mix,  and freeze.
  4. At the end of the freezing process, add the fresh cherries and let the ice cream freezer stir them in.
  5. For firmer ice cream, place the frozen custard in the freezer until it achieves the desired consistency.

When freezing ice cream, you need to use an ice cream freezer to ensure that a certain amount of air is mixed into the frozen cream. This gives it a lighter, less icy consistency. When freezing sorbet, you may also freeze it in a popsicle mold, a bowl or on a sheet pan. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally to limit the size of the ice particles. Larger chunks of ice make for granita, miniscule chunks make for a nice smooth sorbet (an ice cream freezer is ideal).

Photo Credit: “Cherry Red,” by the author. 

Where did you get your ice cream when you were a kid? The supermarket, the ice cream shop, or did you make your own? Let me know in the comments section.


1 Comment to “Baskin Robbery: Burgundy Cherry-esque Ice Cream”

  1. […] was any time) may want to revisit. First and foremost is the Strawberry Basil, but the Peach and Burgundy Cherry are worth a second look too. Let me know how it works for you in a […]