Plum Kernel Oil Ice Cream
About 1 quart (1liter)
You can use a few drops of pure, top-quality almond extract in lieu of the plum oil. Add a few drops to taste, a little at a time. It’s a very strong flavor so proceed cautiously. Next time I make this, I’m going to use less of the sour cherries and fold in some salted candied almonds instead of scattering a few of them over each plate of dessert. Since spring is just around the corner (j’éspere…) I look forward to serving this ice cream, sans the sour cherries but alongside a plum tart, apricot and raspberry crisp, or with a ladle of warm cherry compote instead. The bitter almond flavor is pretty super with any stone fruit or berries. And, of course, chocolate.
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
big pinch of salt
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons (90g) plum oil
1/4 cup (30g) dried sour cherries, chopped
2 tablespoons eau-de-vie, or another liquor*
1. Heat the milk in a medium-size saucepan with the sugar and salt.
2. While that’s heating, pour the cream into a metal bowl and set that bowl into a larger bowl with some ice, creating an ice bath. Set a mesh strainer over the top of the empty bowl.
3. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm milk mixture over the yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170F (71-77C).
4. Pour the custard through the strainer into the heavy cream set over the ice bath, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
5. Soak the sour cherries in the eau-de-vie, cover, and let them stand overnight, stirring occasionally.
6. Whisk the oil into the ice cream custard then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
7. Drain any liquid off from the cherries (which is a tasty little reward for your efforts) and when you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the cherries.