When it comes to fruit I think it’s hard to beat a big bowl of fresh cherries that are firm on the outside and deliciously sweet and juicy on the inside. During the summer months when cherries are in season I try to buy as many as I can, eating the majority fresh and then freezing the rest to use in baking and smoothies during the fall and winter.
In this ice cream the cherries are slightly stewed so I used the reject ones that didn’t look quite good enough to eat fresh. Any variety of cherry would work well in this recipe, I love Bing but you could also use sour cherries for a more tart flavour or alternatively frozen cherries which can often be cheaper.
Ok so let’s talk about this ice cream. It’s completely dairy free with a cashew base that’s deliciously smooth and creamy. The cherries are cooked down until they are soft but still slightly chunky so you get little pieces of them in every bite of ice cream. The almond flakes are coated in a coconut oil and honey mixture and add a great crunchy texture to the ice cream. I like saving a bit of the almond crunch to sprinkle on top of each bowl of ice cream before serving as well. You could also make extra of the stewed cherries and serve it warm as a delicious sauce on top of the ice cream.
I made this ice cream without an ice cream machine (purely due to a tiny freezer and poor planning) and was really happy with how it turned out. If you do use an ice cream machine I would add the almond crunch at the beginning and then mix in the stewed cherries right before freezing after you have poured the ice cream into a container.
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
- ½ tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
- ⅓ cup almond flakes
- 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups cashews, soaked for minimum 4 hours
- 1½ tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- In a medium pan combine the chopped cherries and honey and cook on low for approximately 15 minutes until the cherries have softened and become syrupy. Once cooked set aside.
- To make the almond crunch melt the honey and coconut oil in a pan on medium heat. Toss in the almond flakes, sprinkle with salt and toss so that they are well coated in the honey mixture. Pour the almonds onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put in the fridge to harden. Once the almond flakes have hardened use a knife to break them into chunks.
- In a blender combine the cashews, honey, almond extract, coconut cream and almond milk and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour the ice cream into a freezer proof container and stir in ½ of the almond chunks.
- Put teaspoon sized amounts of the stewed cherries on the top of the ice cream and then push them down into the mixture using a knife so that they are evenly distributed throughout.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of the remaining almond chunks over the top and then place in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours.
- When serving the ice cream sprinkle with any remaining almond crunch and stewed cherries.