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Cherry season has been here for a while now, and it is almost at the tail end of the season! The different kinds available are Bing, Brooks, Rainer, Tulare to name a few. I like the Bing and the Brook variety – both are crunchy, juicy, slightly tart and sweet. Cherry season lasts for a very short time and there is never enough time to develop recipes with cherries I feel.

I have been making this ice cream for a few years now, every cherry season, and it is a family favorite! It does not last for more than a couple days once the ice cream is ready! The ice cream has 3 components to it: 1) cherry compote 2) Trader Joe’s chocolate chip cookies (small) 3) Ameretto liquor.
This ice cream is not eggless. The custard is an egg based custard, and that gives the ice cream its creamy, yet sturdy texture. The ice cream itself is creamy, sweet and tart, you get a slight crunch from the chocolate chip cookies and a beautiful almond liquor taste from Amaretto liquor.

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The ice cream base is a recipe that I have adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, and it involves the following ingredients:
Whole milk and Heavy Cream: Both these ingredients are used in equal amounts and make for a delicious base for the custard. Whole milk is essential. Do not compensate with 2% milk, as it does not have the same fats as whole milk.
Egg yolks: I always save the egg yolks when I make macarons. The egg yolks are saved in a tupperware or deli container in the freezer. I portion it out to 4 to 5 egg yolks per ice cream base. If it is a fruity ice cream base, more the egg yolks, the creamier the texture. Fruit flavors have a high water content, so the egg yolks help to balance it out. I have compared using 4 egg yolks versus 5 to 6 egg yolks for fruity flavors, and the texture is just right when I use 5 to 6 egg yolks.
Granulated sugar: The sugar used in this recipe is just enough for the ice cream base. Do not use less, because then it changes the texture of the ice cream.
Vanilla extract: If possible use vanilla bean paste, else vanilla extract will do. Always use a good quality vanilla extract for the best possible taste of the base.

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The base is made by first heating up the whole milk and heavy cream, along with most of the sugar and bring it to a simmer. Then you whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar together, until it becomes pale yellow in color, and ribbon like in texture. Next step is to temper the egg yolk mixture by putting in 1/2 cup of the milk mixture at a time into the yolk mixture, and whisking continuously to ensure that the yolk mixture does not curdle. Once it is tempered, then add the yolk mixture into the milk again and whisk continuously until it reaches a temperature of 180 degrees F. The custard will be thick.
This mixture has to be cooled in a iced water bath and then the vanilla extract is added for maximum flavor.

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I make a very delicious cherry compote, which is added almost towards the end of churning the ice cream in the ice cream maker. The cherry compote has a beautiful color, and imparts a wonderful color to the ice cream as well. I add the almond liquer towards the end as well for maximum flavor.

I always put the ice cream in a loaf pan. I first put about 1/3 of the ice cream, then layer with crushed chocolate chip cookie crumbs. I repeat the process twice, topping off the ice cream with the cookie crumbs for a wonderful added layer and crunch on the top. Once the ice cream is set in the freezer for about 3 to 4 hours, I cover it with an aluminum foil and let it set.

You could also put it in these ice cream containers that I get from Amazon to store and transport easily!

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Food photography for ice cream is always a challenging subject. It took me a long time to figure out how best to shoot ice cream, especially since most of the times, food bloggers make ice cream only in the summers. That does not hold true for the Gurbani household, because I make ice cream year round! We are an ice cream loving family!

So here are some of my TIPS for food photography related to shooting ice cream in the summer heat!
– Always have your background/board ready, your shoot area ready, before you remove the ice cream from the freezer.
– Decide how you want to shoot your ice cream. Put it down on paper. Decide on the number of shots, and what kind of shots you want to take. Do you want to take shots in the bowl? Do you want to shoot in a cone? Do you want to shoot both? Do you want to also take pictures of the ice cream in someone’s hand? Put it all on paper to make it easier for you.
– Determine the props – bowls/spoons/cones/glass – whatever it is, keep it ready to go!
– If you are using bowls/glasses, freeze them for atleast 15 minutes, so that the ice cream, once placed in the bowl will not melt.
– When scooping out the ice cream, make sure to have a glass filled with warm water on the side. Using an ice cream scoop, dip in the warm water, and then scoop out the ice cream into the bowl for the perfect scoops.
– Place the bowl with the ice cream in the freezer for 10 minutes to ensure the ice cream stays set.
– If you have any ice cream toppings, keep it ready next to the board/background, so that you can style your ice cream before shooting it.

Hope these tips help to shoot the best ice cream shots in the blaring heat of summer!

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I hope you get a chance to make this ice cream as well! It is SO delicious and it does not last long at my home. If you do make it, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram, and/or leave a comment on the blog post.



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