Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream {#IceCreamWeek}

Welcome to #IceCreamWeek! Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina have teamed up with more than 20 of their blog friends to bring you a week full of ice cream treats, including a special ice cream giveaway! Prepare to have your taste buds tempted with some of the best ice cream treats around! Make sure you enter the giveaway for a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and two fabulous ice cream cookbooks so that you can join in on the ice cream fun!
Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream {#IceCreamWeek} | www.girlichef.com
I'm still working my way through 10 pounds of cherries.  And yes, they are still my favorite fruit.  I don't think I could get sick of them if I tried.  I'm quite sure that a couple of pounds have easily been eaten out of hand.  I mean, since we took the time to pit them, they're now easy-pickins {ba-dum-bum} in the fridge!

But plenty of them have made their way into the food, as well.  Now, I had it in my mind to make a pie or a cobbler.  But really, I make my pies and cobblers using tart cherries.  Sure, you can cut back on the sugar and use sweet cherries and they'll still be one of the best pies out there, but personally, I couldn't do it.  I don't ever like to think of myself as a food snob...but I'm thinking that I have to admit to being a cherry pie snob.

But how about turning that summertime favorite into an ice cream flavor?  I know, right!  Sometimes I amaze even myself.  The only thing better than Cherry Pie a la Mode is A la Mode Cherry Pie.
Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream {#IceCreamWeek} | www.girlichef.com
Now admittedly, this doesn't taste exactly like I envisioned it would.  Yes, it has the cherries and the almond...and even the pie crust.  And while it is pretty durn kick-ass if I do say so myself, it wasn't close enough to bear the name "A la Mode Cherry Pie".   Between licks, and extra spoonfuls (for testing purposes), my oldest said it tastes more like a "Cherry Almond Crunch".

And so it was.  And so it is!

Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream {#IceCreamWeek} | www.girlichef.com
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 3 hours (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: dessert almonds cream cherries ice-cream frozen American summer

Ingredients (~1 quart)
    for the Almond Crunch:
    • 4 ounces pie dough (homemade or store-bought)
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/3 cup (~1 ounce) sliced almonds
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    for the Cherry Swirl:
    • 12 ounces fresh pitted & stemmed cherries (sweet or tart)
    • 1/2 cup (2-1/4 ounce) sugar
    for the ice cream base:
    • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
    • 1 cup whole milk, cold
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon almond emulsion or extract
    • 2 big pinches sea salt
    Instructions
    making the almond crunch:
    Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Roll out your pie dough to 1/4-inch thickness (it doesn't matter what shape it is in). Set onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush with a thin layer of the beaten egg. Scatter the sliced almonds evenly over the dough, and then scatter the sugar over the top.

    Use a pizza cutter or metal bench scraper to score the dough in 1-inch sections both vertically and horizontally. It's okay if the almonds break...and they will.

    Slide into preheated oven and bake until golden and crips, 10-12 minutes. Set aside, and allow to cool completely. Use score lines to break the crunch apart. It's okay if it doesn't break evenly, the score lines were more of a guide.
    Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream {#IceCreamWeek} | www.girlichef.com
    making the cherry swirl:
    While the almond crisp is baking, combine the cherries and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, pushing down on the cherries with a wooden spoon to break them up a bit and help them release their juices. Simmer gently until thick, mashing and stirring occasionally, 12-15 minutes. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely. Once they have cooled down enough, stick them in the fridge to chill.

    making the ice cream base:
    Place a quart-sized metal (or sturdy plastic) container in the freezer.

    Whisk all of the ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into the base of an ice cream maker and turn it on; churn according to manufacturer's directions. Once the machine stops, you should have a thick, soft ice cream (like soft serve).

    putting them all together:
    Scoop half of the ice cream into your chilled pan/container. Dot it with half of the chilled cherry mixture, and half of the almond crunch. Scoop the rest of the ice cream on top of that and smooth the top the best you can using a rubber scraper/spatula. Dot with the remaining cherry mixture and the remaining almond crunch. Run a thin-bladed knife back and forth, or in a swirling motion through the ice cream from one side of the pan to the other; this will swirl in the daubs of cherry and almond crunch.

    Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. You can keep any extra, covered, in the freezer for up to a week (maybe longer...you'd have to test that for yourself...ours was gone by then).
    Cherry Almond Crunch Ice Cream {#IceCreamWeek} | www.girlichef.com

    Check out today’s #IceCreamWeek recipes: