If I could recreate the solar system, each planet would become humongous balls of ice cream that continually orbit my wide-open mouth. Ben and Jerry could bring along their entire crew of misfits to inhabit the new celestial orbs. Though, first, Chubby Hubby must stop eating Magic Brownies or extreme Chocolate Therapy will be in order. Chunky Monkey can no longer play with Cake Batter and Brownie Batter, while trying to find Berried Treasure. Neapolitan Dynamite may not complete his Mission to Marzipan. And, last but not least, cheeky Cherry Garcia will have to master – the Karamel Sutra – another time.
Oh, what a wonderful new solar system it would be.
Until that day transpires, I will wait patiently. I will not be tempted by this small army of misfits, lined up ever so neatly and orderly, each with their own colorful personality, vying for attention to be rescued from behind the oppressive cold doors of the supermarket freezer, as I tiptoe along the isle whistling nervously, pretending to need another bag of frozen peas, and doing everything in my power to ignore them. Just when I thought I was in the clear, I see Cherry Garcia nudging forward, thus suddenly appearing in my peripheral vision.
That’s it. Game over. I’ve cracked. On this day, however….I surprise myself. I reach in deep and rev up my willpower to its final gear, and escape back home.
Hours later, still vehemently on my mind, I wave the white flag of delicious defeat and give in to my favorite misfit of them all. Without missing a beat, I commence the making of Homemade Cherry Garcia Ice Cream. Funny how the rationalization kicks in and metastasizes so quickly: Cherries are good for you. Dark chocolate is good for you. Milk is good for you. I hear this over and over again in my head as I shave more chocolate and coddle the custard. Before I know it, a small army of cones filled with out-of-this-world ice cream, orbits my salivating mouth.
Homemade Cherry Garcia Ice Cream
Tweaked from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book, by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, with Nancy J. Stevens, yields one heavenly quart
Feel free to use a little less sugar if you like things not too sweet, like I do. I also used 1% milk to counter the badness of the heavy cream (plus, I had a full quart I needed to use up), but if you wanna be wild and crazy, go with whole milk.
Oh – almost forgot, Ben and Jerry wrote this book in the 80’s, so beware that the egg recipes use raw eggs. Simply cook them by making a custard as shown below.
Music Pairing: Sugar Magnolia, Grateful Dead
- 1/4 overflowing cup shaved dark chocolate
- 1/4 overflowing cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and quartered
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- pinch of salt
Place the shaved chocolate flakes and the cherries in separate bowls. Cover and refrigerate.
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir.
Chill thoroughly, and transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions (about 20-25 minutes). After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the chocolate and the cherries, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready. Freeze at least 2 hours (I like to leave it overnight) before serving.