I tried my first real cherry a week ago.
My childhood had been scarred by cherry flavored medicine. My parents could only make me take it if cookies were promised and in full view. I will argue that it is the single worst thing I have ever tasted. From that point on, I avoided cherry popsicles, cherry koolaid... anything that even looked red (including holiday oreos with red colored filling). I had always assumed that real cherries would have that same awful overly sweet bitter taste. At the ripe age of 22, I figured it was time to find out the truth.
Real cherries tasted nothing like the branded generic cherry flavor. It was a revelation! An inspiration! I indulged in the flavor, the texture, and the intricacies of this new and exciting fruit (eating half a pound in the process). Then and there, the fates decided that cherries would have a presence in my life.
This roasted cherry coconut ice cream is absolutely divine. It is so easy to make and tastes gourmet. The roasted cherries are sweet and glorious and I can't stop talking about them. The ice cream itself has a fairly intense coconut flavor and can stand alone if need be, but the cherries really round out the flavors in the ice cream. This is, quite possibly, the best ice cream I have ever eaten.
Roasted Cherry Coconut Ice Cream
From The Kitchn
Yields 1 quart
1 pound cherries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Pit the cherries. In a medium bowl, mix together the cherries and sugar. Spread the sugared cherries onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the oven and move cherries into a heat-resistant bowl. To keep the cherries cool, refrigerate until ready to mix into the ice cream.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream of coconut, heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, nutmeg, and salt. Place into an ice cream maker and follow your particular ice cream maker's instructions.
When ice cream is of soft serve consistency, remove ice cream from ice cream maker and transfer to a another container. Mix in the roasted cherries and put container into the freezer for 2 to 5 hours to allow ice cream to firm up and harden.