I am a person who considers lemon extract an impulse buy. I headed to a local cake decorating shop last winter to procure luster dust for some Christmas cookies. It was a gloomy winter day, I was tired, and I didn’t want to be there. I fully planned on grabbing the stupid luster dust and high-tailing it on out of there. So obviously, what proceeded to happen was that I was unable to locate the luster dust, the shopkeeper (do people still use that word? Or not since colonial times?) was busy with another customer, and I wandered the store, scared and alone.
OK, maybe I wasn’t all that scared. But I should have been. For what ended up happening while I was on the luster dust hunt was that my basket started filling up with all sorts of stuff. Snowmen-printed plastic bags to gift the cookies in? Sure. Cupcake liners with little hearts on them that I would surely forget about when Valentine’s Day rolled around? Get in the basket. Lemon extract? Well, it was only $2, and I would find a use for it. Oh, and that luster dust I came for. You’re coming with me, too.
I got all this junk home, and only then did I remember that I’m not much of a baker or candlestick maker. In reality, the only reason I knew there was such a thing as luster dust was because I cooking the cover of Bon Appetit for my monthly blog post about that project. So naturally, Valentine’s Day came and went with nary a lovey-dovey-wrapped cupcake in sight, and the lemon extract disappeared into the abyss in the back of my meager shelf of baking supplies.
But, while cleaning my pantry cupboard a few weeks ago, I found that lemon extract and felt guilty. Like I had failed it. The little bottle was oh-so-cute, and it smelled delicious. It deserved it’s day in the sun. And you know what’s great to eat in the sun? ICE CREAM. I stirred up a lemon-flavored custard using fresh Michigan milk, cream and eggs, then studded it with locally grown cherries.
It certainly wasn’t difficult to locate plenty of fresh Michigan milk to use in this Cherry Lemonade Ice Cream. Did you know that Michigan’s 1,700 Grade A Dairy farms produce more than enough milk to supply the entire state? Surplus milk is actually exported to help meet demand in other states. Go Mitten State!
- 2-1/3 cups heavy cream
- 2-1/3 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon yellow food coloring (optional)
- 1-1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- In large saucepan, combine cream and milk. Heat just to simmering over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Place egg yolks, eggs and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes or until thick and pale yellow in color. In a slow, steady stream, add 1 cup of warm cream mixture to egg mixture. When combined, pour egg mixture into saucepan with remaining cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon. Strain through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl. Stir in lemon extract and food coloring, if using. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on custard; chill completely (I recommend overnight).
- Pour custard mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to instructions for your machine (mine took about 25 minutes). Fold in cherries; transfer ice cream to freezer to harden completely (at least 4 hours).
Disclosure: This post is part of an ongoing relationship I have with The United Dairy Industry of Michigan for recipe development. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.