Cherry Almond Preserves with No Added Pectin

Cherry season is incredibly short—lasting only a matter of days—so I'll often find myself with gallon bags full of sour pie cherries that need to be pitted, washed, and processed in a short amount of time. Some years it can be a daunting task to turn all of these beauties into something delicious, so I've worked hard to develop a lazy person's recipe for preserves that has a great consistency, yet doesn't need any special equipment or added pectin. Just a small handful of ingredients and a little bit of time is all you need to produce a tasty preserve that can be put up and enjoyed over winter or eaten immediately on a slice of crusty bread slathered in butter. 

Cherry Almond Preserves with No Added Pectin | Not Starving Yet

Cherry Almond Preserves

(makes 1 pint or 2 half pints)
 


 

Ingredients


3 cups sour cherries (or slightly less than 1 pound)
1 cup sugar + additional ¼ - ½ cup, as necessary
1 Tablespoon pure almond extract
 

Directions

  • Remove the pits from the cherries, add them to a large saucepan, and combine with 1 cup sugar. Let sit for at least twenty minutes while the cherries macerate, or release their juices.
  • Over medium-high heat bring the contents of the pot to a boil and allow to cook until the mixture has reduced roughly by ⅓. Take a quick taste and if the preserves still make you pucker add an additional ¼ cup of sugar, or more to taste.

You can leave a wooden spoon in your pot or pan while your preserves are cooking to prevent them from boiling over.

  • Add almond extract, then continue to boil the preserves taking care to stir frequently, until the contents of the pot have begun to thicken. 

Total cooking time varies greatly depending on the size of you pot (anywhere from 20 - 45 minutes) so you'll need to keep a close eye on your preserves while they're cooking.

  • There are a number of methods you can use to tell when your preserves are done cooking. By far the easiest is to take a spoon, dip it in the preserves, and let the liquid run off the spoon. If it immediately drips back in to the pot, you need to keep cooking, but if it puddles at the tip and drips off in a heavy sheet, your safe to turn the heat off. If you're still not quite sure they're done, you can remove your preserves from the heat, place a small amount of syrup on a plate and put it in the fridge to chill. It should form a gel after a few minutes, if it doesn't turn the heat back up and continue boiling your preserves.

It is possible to burn your preserves, so if you're still uncertain after performing these two tests, go ahead and turn off the heat. If your preserves fail to gel after cooling you can always use them on top of a fat stack of pancakes.

  • Allow the preserves to cool slightly before transferring them into a pint jar. Wipe the rim clean, seal, and once cool store in the refrigerator.

Notes


You can use a cherry pitter if you have one, but for small batches of cherries a paperclip, chopstick, or even your hands work just as well. Keep in mind that pitting cherries is a messy process, so wear something dark colored or a shirt you don't mind getting stained.

It's perfectly normal for the preserves to foam while boiling, once they're removed from the heat you'll find the foam dissipates relatively quickly, so there is no need to skim it off the top.

This recipe is safe to can using a water bath, but for such a small batch I don't normally bother. If you'd like to make more than a pint and put some up for later you can use the canning instructions I've included with our recipe for Sweet Cherry and Peach Preserves.

White Chocolate Ice Cream with Amarena Cherries #Sponsored by Chocoley

I know that I should be gearing up for all things pumpkin, but I thought that since the weather is still fairly warm I'd give you once last taste of summer— in ice cream form, of course! Thanks to my sponsorship with Chocoley I spent the summer living the dream, or at least a chocoholic's dream. They sent me a whole box of goodies to help make our summer ice cream series possible. If you enjoy this recipe, then you may want to check out the rest of the series which included Magic ShellChocolate Dipped Cones, and Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

For the final recipe I wanted to do something special, so I chose pair two of my favorite ingredients together—white chocolate and Amarena cherries. If you aren't familiar with this variety of this cherry that's because they come from Italy. They're a sour black cherry that you'll often find folded into gelato or spooned over panna cotta. Since they are imported you'll need to take a trip to a specialty store or order them online (see our notes below for sources.)

If you've never had the pleasure of biting into an Amarena cherry, then you've definitely been missing out. They're nothing like the super-sweet maraschino cherries you'll often find topping ice cream. These gems are tender and full of flavor, sweetened by the thick sugar syrup they come preserved in. If you love cherries, but haven't had an opportunity to try these, then why not cement your love of cherries with a batch of White Chocolate Amarena Cherry Ice Cream. It's so good it will leave you screaming for more.

White Chocolate Ice Cream with Amarena Cherries

White Chocolate Ice Cream with Amarena Cherries
makes slightly more than 1 quart

Ingredients

6 eggs yolks
2 cups whole milk
1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1 vanilla bean
2 ounces Chocoley White Chocolate - Indulgence Ultra Couverture Dipping & Enrobing Chocolate
¾ cup Amarena cherries, cut in half (or more to taste)

Directions
 

 

  • Before beginning separate your egg yolks, whisk until smooth, and set aside. In a saucepan, set over medium-low heat, warm milk and whipping cream. Add sugar and lemon zest, stirring frequently until the temperature reaches roughly 105˚F and sugar is completely dissolved. 
  • Trim the tips off the vanilla bean, slice down the center, and scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Add chocolate and egg yolks, then warm until the temperature reaches 160˚F. While the custard is heating, stir frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, run everything through a fine-mesh strainer to catch any stray bits of egg white, and allow the custard to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator.
  • Allow mixture to chill, covered, for at least 4 hours, or overnight before transferring to the ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer's instructions. You'll want to add the cherries just before transferring to the freezer, otherwise your ice cream will turn pink.

Notes

Having trouble locating Amarena Cherries? I found mine on Amazon

Don't toss out the cherry syrup, keep it in the refrigerator and use it to sweeten oatmeal, smoothies, or as an ice cream topping.

Not sure what to do with the leftover egg whites? Don't worry, we have you covered! You can use them in a batch of Honey Walnut Granola

Disclosure

 

Chocoley provided chocolate to help facilitate this project. All other supplies were purchased on my own.

This post contains my Chocoley referral links and Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. The purchases made through these links help cover my expenses in running this blog so I can continue to provide you with quality content.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream #Sponsored by Chocoley

I know I've been promising you my recipe for homemade chocolate ice cream for a while now and here it is, just in time for Labor Day. It's still summer, right? But seriously, I've been saving this recipe for a special occasion and it's finally here, my bestie (since she was nine) is finally coming to visit us in Wisconsin!

We've only lived here for seven years now... (I should probably stop guilt tripping her now that she's coming for a visit.)

But seriously, I'm super excited that the whole crew is coming up from St. Louis to spend Labor Day with us. We'll be making the rounds at all of the local breweries and eating more food than a group of six probably should consume in one weekend.

I see nothing but good times in my future.

My husband did me a favor and asked everyone if they had any requests for this weekend and I was told that prime rib/lobster/most expensive wine should be on the menu. It seems my bestie has forgotten that I kinda quit breathing when I eat shellfish, so her plan was immediately struck down (although I do have two nice bottles of rosé chilled and waiting. I might be willing to share if she stops trying to kill me.) Since I prefer my food served up so I don't die, we'll be having brats, Creamy Summer Coleslaw, and beer— our traditional Labor Day menu. I've even made a few gallons worth of ice cream for dessert.

If you're looking for a sweet treat for this weekend, you'll love this recipe. Make it for a special occasion or just because, either way your mouth will thank you (just be sure to ignore what your hips are telling you.)

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
makes slightly more than 1 quart

Ingredients

6 eggs yolks
2 cups whole milk
1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
3.5oz Chocoley Milk Chocolate - Indulgence Ultra Couverture Dipping & Enrobing Chocolate

 

Directions

 

  • Before beginning separate your egg yolks, whisk until smooth, and set aside. In a saucepan, set over medium-low heat, warm milk and whipping cream. Add sugar, stirring frequently until the temperature reaches roughly 105˚F and sugar is completely dissolved. 
  • Trim the tips off the vanilla bean, slice down the center, and scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Add chocolate and egg yolks, then warm until the temperature reaches 160˚F. While the custard is heating, stir frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, run everything through a fine-mesh strainer to catch any stray bits of egg white, and allow the custard to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator.
  • Allow mixture to chill, covered, for at least 4 hours, or overnight before transferring to the ice cream maker.
  • Churn according to manufacturer's instructions before transferring to the freezer. Enjoy!

 

Notes
 

 

If you don't have a scale to measure the chocolate don't worry. After half a dozen batches I found that 3.5oz is approximately 26 pieces. 

Not sure what to do with the leftover egg whites? Don't worry, we have you covered! You can use them in a batch of Honey Walnut Granola then make these tasty breakfast bowls.
 

Disclosure

 

Chocoley provided chocolate to help facilitate this project. All other supplies were purchased on my own.

This post contains my Chocoley referral links and Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. The purchases made through these links help cover my expenses in running this blog so I can continue to provide you with quality content.

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones #Sponsored by Chocoley

I know, I know... I promised you that my next ice cream post would be home made chocolate ice cream, but with all of the ice cream sitting in my freezer I needed something to put it in. So today's post is not chocolate ice cream, but instead chocolate dipped ice cream cones.

Hey, it's still chocolate, right?

I don't know about you, but if you give me the choice between a waffle cone, a sugar cone, or a cake cone I will absolutely choose the waffle cone every single time. My decision is generally made based on the fact that it holds the most ice cream (when it comes to ice cream I am an absolute glutton, but I doubt that comes as any surprise to you.) The only thing that might tempt me away from my beloved waffle cone would be the chocolate dipped ice cream cones that you'll occasionally see at the ice cream shop.

Those are mind-blowingly delicious!

Since you can't purchase them ready made (unless you want to buy drumsticks) I decided to set about making my own. It just so happens that I had all of the necessary ingredients on hand (including several pounds of chocolate from our sponsor Chocoley.) You don't need many ingredients for this recipe, just a package of sugar cones, a batch of DIY Magic Shell, and the topping of your choice. You could even take it one step further and make your own drumsticks.

I think I know what I'll be making for our Fourth of July treats!

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones
makes one dozen

Ingredients


DIY Magic Shell
12 sugar cones (you can use waffle cones too)
sprinkles, coarsely chopped nuts, or other topping of your choice
 

Directions

 

  • In the microwave warm Magic Shell using low power in 30 second increments until the chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth.
  • Slowly fill the sugar cones with chocolate, swirl around until the sides are evenly coated, then pour out any excess.
  • Dip the top of the cones, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to set for 4 - 5 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your coating has reached your desired thickness.
  • Roll the cones with your choice of topping (we love sprinkles) and place the dipped cones in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to fully harden.
  • Fill with your favorite ice cream and enjoy!
My taste tester suggests that you keep a swimming pool nearby for easy cleanup because ice cream can be messy (especially when you're only 3.) Fortunately we had one on hand!

My taste tester suggests that you keep a swimming pool nearby for easy cleanup because ice cream can be messy (especially when you're only 3.) Fortunately we had one on hand!

 

Notes 

Keep in mind that Magic Shell will return to liquid state at temperatures above 76°F. You'll want to store your cones in the freezer until you're ready to use them. I keep mine in a disposable decorating bag, they're the perfect shape and size.

If you happen to be lacking in freezer space or want a cone that will be shelf stable consider using Chocoley's Drizzle and Design Chocolate. It comes in a handy squeeze bottle that makes filling the cones super easy.

Disclosure


Chocoley provided chocolate and sprinkles to help facilitate this project. All other supplies were purchased on my own.

This post contains my Chocoley referral links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. The purchases made through these links help cover my expenses in running this blog so I can continue to provide you with quality content.