Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream

Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream

Well, I finally polished off the Fresh Strawberry and Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter ice creams, making lots of room in the freezer for a new flavor. A couple of weeks ago I was thumbing through The Perfect Scoop while sitting with my grandma and she asked what types of ice cream recipes were in the book. I started reading off some of the flavors as I flipped through the pages and as soon as I uttered “toasted almond and candied cherry” she said, “ooooh now that sounds good”. I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Growing up, while the rest of us devoured vanilla, chocolate, and more of the “regular” flavors, my grandma and great aunt always, always wanted white house cherry. From what I can remember, it’s vanilla ice cream with cherries swirled in… there’s potentially more to it than that, but it’s all I can recollect. Oh, and I also remember not liking it. Much like the aversion to strawberry ice cream I had as a kid, the same held true for cherry. No one was battling grandma for the last scoop of that stuff – it was all hers, and she was happy to have it that way. So I knew that this ice cream would be right up her alley.

Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream

Steeping the milk mixture with the chopped almonds gives it such a wonderful, smooth flavor; come to think of it, it’s probably very similar to what almond milk might taste like. The candied cherries are sweet and soft, a perfect complement to the crunchy, roasted flavor of the almonds. And, although I absolutely adored my Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream, I really think that I prefer ice cream with egg yolks used as a custard base. It is infinitely creamier and just has that extra “oomph” that takes ice cream from really good/great to out-of-this-world, let-me-lick-the-entire-bowl-clean fabulous.

As for my grandma’s verdict? She absolutely loved the ice cream. Specifically, she loved all of the almonds.

My grandma with her ice cream cone

Love this recipe but don’t have an ice cream maker? Head on over to the tutorial about how to make fabulous homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker. Problem solved!

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Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream

Yield: 1½ quarts

Prep Time: 2 hours (active), 9 hours (inactive)

Cook Time: 20 minutes (churn time)

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes


For the Ice Cream:
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream, divided
2 cups whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped, divided
5 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Candied Cherries (recipe follows), coarsely chopped

For the Candied Cherries:
1 pound cherries, fresh or frozen
1½ cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 drop almond extract


1. Warm the milk, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. Finely chop 1 cup of the almonds and add them to the warm milk. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Strain the almond-infused milk into a separate medium saucepan. Press with a spatula or squeeze with your hands to extract as much flavor from the almonds as possible. Discard the almonds.

3. Rewarm the almond-infused milk. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir in the almond extract and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

5. To make the Candied Cherries: Remove the stems and pit the cherries. Heat the cherries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a large, nonreactive saucepan or skillet until the liquid starts to boil.

6. Turn down the heat to a low boil and cook the cherries for 25 minutes, stirring frequently during the last 10 minutes of cooking to make sure they are cooking evenly and not sticking.

7. Once the syrup is reduced to the consistency of maple syrup, remove the pan from the heat, add the almond extract, and let the cherries cool in their syrup.

8. Drain the cherries in a strainer for about 1 hour, then coarsely chop. Candied Cherries can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

9. Freeze the custard mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the remaining 1 cup chopped almonds. When you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the chopped cherries.

(Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)


47 Responses to “Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream”

  1. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit on August 20, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I really need that book! I have seen so many ice cream recipes from it that I could just swoon over- this one included. So beautiful! (As is your grandma’s hand- so special you have a grandma to make ice cream for!)


  2. Lora on August 20, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Amazing flavor combo and the pix of your grandmother’s hand is beyond beautiful…


  3. Kerry on August 20, 2010 at 2:34 am

    This sounds amazing and makes me want to bust out my ice cream maker at nearly midnight. And I agree, the photo of your grandmother really is beautiful. Random question… maybe I’m new to this whole food blogging thing, but how do you have time to bake so much? Yesterday you posted the cheesecake bars, the day before it was blondies and then the cupcakes… I feel so inadequate!


  4. Ashley Annie on August 20, 2010 at 2:42 am

    I saw your twitter update about making the cherries for this! Looks like it turned out perfect. I have got to hurry up and get this book. I keep hearing about all the amazing recipes in it. I agree with everyone about your photos. Precious.


  5. Rodzilla on August 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

    this looks fantastic. I hope you saved a cheesecake bar from yesterday to combine it with.


  6. Nicole on August 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

    This is such a sweet post and it made me miss my grandma, who was responsible for my learning to bake and loving it. I wish she was still here so I could make ice cream for her. This flavor sounds yummy – almond & cherry is always a good combination. I’ll have to add this to the ‘try’ list!


  7. Liz N on August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I have ‘The Perfect Scoop’ too and when I saw this ice cream flavor I added it to my list of recipes to make. So glad your grandmother loved it. I probably don’t need to tell you how lucky you are to have your grandmother still with you. I love that you photographed her hand holding the cone. I miss my grandmother so much and I wish she was still around so I could share moments like this with her.


  8. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on August 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Ahh a happy grandmother. It’s the best feeling 🙂 Ice-cream looks delicious!


  9. heather on August 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

    small world — it was my job to drool over the book last night and find a recipe for tonight. a tough job but i finally decided on fleur de lait. sounds interesting. though i have to say that toasted almond with candied cherry was on the list, along with straciatella, gianduja gelato and anise ice cream with profiteroles. here’s to both of us working through the book in it’s entirety!




  10. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on August 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    My dad loves all things cherry, especially ice cream, so I know he would go crazy for this! Now, just if I can get my hands on an ice cream machine….

    Thanks for sharing that wonderful photo and recipe!


  11. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on August 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    What a beautiful ice cream! I worked in an ice cream parlor when I was younger, and I was never a fan of the fruity ice creams… But I’m learning to like them much more now!


  12. kris on August 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    The picture looks so yummy I’ve got to try this recipe. Did you use sweet or sour cherries? The recipe doesn’t specify but from the picture it looks like sweet (Bing) cherries were used. Thanks for all the great recipes!


    • Michelle on August 25th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Kris, I used dark, sweet cherries (frozen).


  13. Sues on August 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    This looks absolutely perfect!!! So beautiful. And so wonderful that your grandmother loved it 🙂 Happy weekend!


  14. Ameya on August 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Almond ice cream-YUM!! And those candied cherries sound delicious!! I still haven’t managed to try out homemade ice cream, but I don’t think I can hold off much longer now 🙂


  15. Brilynn on August 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    This recipe has been on my ‘to-make’ list since I got The Perfect Scoop. Yours looks amazing!


  16. Aunt Vicki on August 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I love the picture of Grandma holding the cone!


  17. Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) on August 23, 2010 at 12:26 am

    How sweet! I need to start making some more recipes out of that book. All of them have been excellent so far!


  18. jaclyn@todayslady on August 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Yum! Candied cherries, I’ve never tried them before!! Sounds like a winner though. I love the combo of almonds and cherries. Your grandma is a smart woman 🙂


  19. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot on August 23, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I love this! I can tell this is my new favourite ice cream and I haven’t even tried it yet. Yum!


  20. Maria on August 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I want a big scoop of this ice cream!


  21. Jenny Flake on August 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Oh my this looks gorgeous!


  22. Susi on August 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I have “The Perfect Scoop” and have just been looking at this exact recipe this morning. Yours looks fantastic, makes me want to make it right now, too!
    Love the picture of your grandmother’s hand!


  23. RavieNomNoms on August 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    beautiful ice cream! looks yummy!


  24. Theresa on August 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Looks beautiful AND delicious. I just love The Perfect Scoop. There are so many fantastic recipes in there, it makes me sad that soon it will be too cold for ice cream.


  25. Kim - Liv Life on August 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Lovely pictures! I absolutely adore the one with your grandmother’s hand. I have never done ice cream with almonds, even though I love them. My kids are the “eeww… there’s nuts in that”, but I just may have to over ride them and give this a try.
    Hope you don’t mind, I posted a version of your Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats on my blog. Thanks again for such a wonderful recipe. Adults and children alike were all grasping for that last piece!


  26. foodlvr on August 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    This does sound amazing. Grandma has good taste. I made raspberry ice cream a week or so ago. Still some left. So pretty – so pink.

    I still want The Perfect Scoop. I mainly work from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Book. I need some new inspiration. I love making ice cream.


  27. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having on August 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Yum! Cherry was my favourite flavour growing up; cherry with almond sounds heavenly to me. I followed your tutorial on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker a couple of weeks ago to make earl grey tea a couple of weeks ago and loved it. I think this might be next!


  28. Michelle on August 24, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Love toasted almonds in ice cream!


  29. Ivy @ My Simple Food on August 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    During this hot summer, I am salivating whenever I see ice-cream’s postings!! nice!


  30. The Mom Chef on August 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    That’s so cool that you made the ice cream for your grandmother. I’m not a fan of anything cherry except real cherries. Your photography, as always is beautiful too.


  31. michelle @ The Domestic Mama on August 25, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Congrats on the top 9! Looks delish- and a hug to grandma. I miss mine soooooo much.


  32. marla {family fresh cooking} on August 25, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Great idea to steep the milk with this almond mixture. This ice cream is so pretty and it sounds delicious!


  33. Priscilla - She's Cookin' on August 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks for the tips on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker, but I think I need one anyway 🙂 Like your grandmother and aunt, I’ve always preferred fruit infused ice cream and your story along with the photo of her hand is heart warming. Congrats on the Top 9!


  34. Drick on August 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    yummy ice cream again, I can’t keep up – like the flavors in this one


  35. Cookin' Canuck on August 25, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    You come up with so many fantastic ice cream flavors! The nuttiness of the toasted almonds would complement the cherries so nicely.


  36. theurbanbaker on August 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Oh how i love david lebovitz and oh how i love his ice creams. Almonds + candied cherries – nom!


  37. Angela on September 10, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    This sounds AMAZING! Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ve been looking for more interesting flavors to make with the new ice cream maker.



  38. jenna on October 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    that ice cream looks bomb

    “what almond milk might taste like”? almond milk isn’t imaginary. haha 🙂


    • Michelle on October 11th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

      I know it’s not imaginary; in fact, my sister drinks it, but I have never tried it, so I don’t know what it tastes like.


  39. Chery A on May 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Do you think it would taste as good with blackberries? Tis the season… and I’ve got a wild blackberry bush in my backyard. The berries will be ripe soon, but sadly, not enough for a cobbler. I’m thinking the almonds and blackberries would taste wonderful together — what do you think, should I give it a shot?

    Thank you for this recipe, because it does sound wonderful.

    PS — I’ve got some muscadine grapes and pears coming soon, too. Any great recipes for those fruits? Hint – hint – hint!


    • Michelle on May 17th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Hi Chery, Blackberries in this recipe sounds amazing! I would definitely give it a go! I don’t have any grape or pear ice cream recipes, but definitely plan on trying a pear one soon!


  40. Audrey Hennefer on July 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    beautiful still life: “grandma holding ice cream cone”


  41. Maria on July 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Cherries are finally coming in season and I’m so excited to make this! One question, though: what do I do with the syrup from the candied cherries?


    • Michelle on July 27th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Maria, You can discard it or save it for another use; you don’t need it for the rest of this particular recipe.


  42. Noreen on October 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Unbelievable combo of flavors! I’ve made it 3 times in two weeks. These recipes are fabulous and so easy to make. Have made ten flavors so far. A friend worried about the espresso ice cream keeping her awake that night suggested using decaf beans…brilliant! I am trying the cinnamon tonight. Trader Joe’s has the jar of 3 inch cinnamon sticks for $1.99. Michelle, your website is my absolute favorite and I have quite a few I follow. Thanks so much.


  43. Samantha on March 18, 2014 at 12:40 am

    I made the toasted almond and candied cherries. We enjoyed very much. I did use only 3 eggs instead and brought some (m) cherries from the topping aisle and chopped those up glad I did was awesome and saved my self some steps. Thank You!


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