No-churn Ice Cream with Homemade Cherry Sauce

This ice-cream recipe is the closest you can get to magic in the kitchen. 2 ingredients, 5 minutes of prep time, and NO ICE CREAM MAKER required. It’s when I discover recipes like this, and I can’t wait to share them with you all, that I realize how much I love my job.

What I love most is having the opportunity to learn new things, to reinvent myself daily, and to wear many different hats. One day you’ll find me snapping pictures of no-ice-cream-maker ice cream in my living room, the next day I’m consulting with a client on social media strategies or hauling a table and chairs up an ancient stone staircase to prepare for a Gatherings event. Or, like last week, I have the rare opportunity to experience a close-up, behind-the-scenes tour of a world-famous chef’s competition, The Bocuse d’Or.

I was whisked to Torino for the day by my friends at Nespresso, who are a main sponsor of the Bocuse d’Or, along with the fairy godmother of all Italian food bloggers, Sonia Peronaci, and firecracker Valentina Tozza. We were allowed stage access in order to snoop around the various stands, each representing a different European country, and watch the chefs scramble to finish their painstakingly-complicated dishes in time. The highlight of the day for me, of course, was lunch. A beautiful 3-course meal by the Cerea brothers, famous for their 3-Michelin-starred restaurant Da Vittorio. The dessert, Moscato flavored cherries with iced nougat mousse, was especially divine, and inspired me to create this recipe.

After all the food and excitement of the competition, we headed to our final destination of the day: Torino’s Nespresso boutique store in historic Via Roma, for a much-needed coffee and guided tasting. I must admit, I never knew much about the characteristics that define a good coffee and was surprised at how much I learned. I put that new knowledge to work immediately, and paired a Nespresso Rosabaya coffee with this recipe. This smooth arabica has notes of red fruits and winey flavors that pair beautifully with the cherry coulis.

So, I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did! I’m excited to experiment with other no-ice-cream-maker ice creams in the future, the possibilities are endless!

No-churn Ice Cream and Homemade Cherry Sauce

For the ice cream

  • 2 cups (about 500 g) whipping cream
  • 1, 14-oz can of sweetened, condensed milk
  • Optional flavorings (1 teaspoon vanilla extract, lemon juice/zest, or almond extract, etc)

For the sauce and toppings

  • 1 pound (about 450 g) fresh cherries
  • scant 1/2 cup (80 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup tiny amaretto or meringue cookies or cookie crumbs, for decorating
10-12 servings

Prepare the ice cream: Whip the cream into soft peaks, then slowly add the condensed milk and optional flavors, stirring gently to combine. Carefully transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 6 hours.

Meanwhile, make the cherry sauce: Wash, de-stem and pit the cherries. In a medium saucepan, bring the cherries, sugar, and water to a boil over medium-high heat and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. In a small bowl, stir the lemon juice and cornstarch together until smooth. Whisk it into the boiling cherry mixture. Return to a boil, stirring constantly.Cook until the liquid has thickened, about 1 more minute.

Remove the pot from the heat and taste. You can add a little extra sugar or lemon juice if needed at this point, depending on your personal preference. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before serving.

To assemble: scoop ice cream into serving cups and spoon some cooked cherries and sauce on top. Garnish with amaretto or meringue cookies and serve immediately.

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