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Spice of Life: Nothing says summer like taste of sweet cherries

Last Modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:16 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

I walked into Walmart one evening and a fruit sitting amid the oranges, strawberries, grapes, apples and kiwi caught my attention.

Sweet red cherries.

Something great has to be written about the cherry which requires only two skills.

Being able to put one in your mouth and discharging the seed from your mouth as a projectile if you choose to enjoy the fruit outside near a trash can.

Summer time ushers in cherry season.

James Beard, one of America’s culinary giants, wrote “cherry season is one of the pleasantest we have, a time to feast on cherries in every possible way.”

Cherries are one of my favorite fruit to eat.

I share a passion for eating them with my mom. When I was younger, she normally had a small bag of cherries in her purse that my brother and I would snack on.

To this day, she keeps cherries in the house which I still eat. Also, she tips me to stores that have decent prices on cherries. Like a lot of produce and fruit, cherries can be a bit expensive.

This week I offer you a cherry recipe that will cool you off and put flavor on the palate.

Canned cherries are supposed to go into the summer treat, but if you want to throw some fresh ones in, do it.

I hope you enjoy.

Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart


• 1/2 cup granular sweetener for ice cream

2 tablespoons cornstarch

• 1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup 2 percent reduced-fat milk

1 cup half-and-half

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract

1/2 cup drained and coarsely chopped, canned, pitted cherries in heavy syrup

3 tablespoons bourbon


Whisk together first three ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, eight to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about one cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla.

Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids. Cool one hour, stirring occasionally. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture; chill eight to 24 hours.

Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions; stir in cherries and bourbon halfway through freezing. Let stand at room temperature five to 10 minutes before serving.


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Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at or 494-4090.

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