Cherry season is in full swing around here. While it’s on, I feel it is my bounden duty to eat as many of them fresh as is humanly possible. To this end, I usually order in the neighborhood of sixty and eighty pounds from my local Amish friends. We all do our best to make ourselves sick by eating vast quantities of them, but there comes a point where jam making and fresh cherry eating must cease and I need alternate plans on what to do with the bounty.
I almost always freeze at least twenty pounds of the beautiful little red orbs so that we can make what my boys (both the ones I helped make and the one I married) so charmingly refer to as “Fruit Poop”. Sigh. While every atom of my girly self rails against such a name, I have to admit they have a point. This one-ingredient ice cream (as I prefer to call it) is made in our juicer with the blank plate. As the auger turns in the juicer, it extrudes (or -gag- poops) the fruit out of the end. I use my Champion Juicer (a gift from my beloved stepmom, Valerie) because it was with the juicer that Val taught me that you could DO this sort of thing with fruit. I have since learned that you can do a very passable version of this with a food processor or a burly blender, but I’m a stickler for tradition.
How to Freeze Cherries:
Have you ever frozen sweet cherries? It’s beyond simple. Pit the cherries, spread on a rimmed pan lined with foil or a silpat, stash the pan in the freezer until they are frozen solid, then transferred into zipper top bags. This is what is referred to in the industry as ‘IQF’ or Individually Quick Frozen. Why not just put the pitted cherries in a freezer bag straight away? If you do that, you end up with a giant frozen cherry ice block. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you want to float it in the middle of a punch bowl, but it makes using smaller portions rather difficult. I like to drop frozen cherries in my steel cut oats, make one-ingredient ice cream (FRUIT POOP, dangit), bake muffins, or make coffee cake and I don’t want to have to chip away at a solid chunk of of frozen cherries to have to do it.
When you IQF your cherries, you can open a bag, reach in for a handful of loose, frozen cherries and proceed with whatever plans you have. My plans often entail eating a handful of frozen cherries, but maybe that’s just me.
Now, I’d absolutely love to show you a picture of my gorgeous IQF cherries, but my refrigerator and freezer died over the very hot weekend and my lovely individual cherries morphed into a block-o-frozen-cherries when I hurried stashed the partially thawed babies in the chest freezer. Le sigh. At least I still have them. And an ice pick. EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE EEE EEEE (that’s my text version of horror music.)
How to Make One-Ingredient Ice Cream:
Are you holding onto your hat? It doesn’t get much simpler than this. If you have a robust and powerful juicer, fit it with your blank plate and drop the frozen cherries into the hopper. Press on it, let it extrude and eat immediately for a soft-serve texture, or put in the freezer with plastic wrap directly on the surface to ripen (or harden) like you would freshly made dairy ice cream to make it easier to scoop. And if you happen to have leftovers or extra, put it directly into ice pop molds and freeze for one-ingredient ice pops that are seriously healthy and ridiculously habit-forming. Never fear if you’re not in possession of a massive juicer, though. You can do a very good version of this with a powerful blender or a food processor. One-Ingredient Cherry Ice Cream for the world!
- Sweet Cherries
- To Individually Quick Freeze Cherries:
- Pit the cherries with a hand pitter or plunger pitter. If you don't have either of those, you can put a plain tip for an icing or pastry bag on the tip of your finger and use it to push the pits out of the cherries. Lay the pitted cherries on a rimmed baking sheet that is lined with foil or a silpat (for easier removal of the frozen cherries) and put the pan in your freezer. When the cherries are frozen solid, remove them from the pan (lifting the silpat and foil to help as necessary) and slide them quickly into a resealable zipper type bag. Close the zipper bag and put back into the freezer, labeled, quickly so the cherries do not melt. Store thusly for up to a year.
- Juicer Instructions:
- Fit your whole-fruit juicer with a blank plate. Drop the frozen cherries into the hopper and use the tamper to guide them downward. Eat the extruded fruit immediately for soft serve texture or smooth the top of the fruit, lay plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent freezer burn, and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour before serving to make it easier to scoop.
- Food Processor Instructions:
- Fit the work bowl of your food processor with a metal blade. Add frozen cherries to the work bowl and process until smooth. Serve immediately for soft serve texture or smooth the top of the fruit, lay plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent freezer burn, and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour before serving to make it easier to scoop. If it is too liquidy after processing you should scrape the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze again. After the cubes are re-frozen, drop those into the work bowl of your food processor again and pulse until smooth.
- Blender Instructions:
- Add frozen cherries to the carafe of your blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately for soft serve texture or smooth the top of the fruit, lay plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent freezer burn, and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour before serving to make it easier to scoop. If it is too liquidy after processing you should scrape the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze again. After the cubes are re-frozen, drop those into the carafe again and pulse until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender and stir the contents if necessary.
- What to Do with Leftovers:
- You can pour or scrape leftover one-ingredient ice cream into ice pop molds for fast, delicious, pure-fruit, healthy ice pops!
Frozen Treats Week Zoku and OXO Giveaway:
Now I have an announcement I’ve been waiting to tell you for what seems like forever. I’m participating in Frozen Treats Week with a group of fabulous bloggers and we have some amazing prizes to give away. Today, we have an incredible prize pack provided by Zoku and OXO.
How about that? Who wouldn’t want that? I confess I’m a bit jealous because I want every single thing in this picture! I think leftover One-Ingredient Cherry Ice Cream and Zoku and OXO are a match made in heaven! Mega thanks to Zoku and OXO for sharing such fantastic prizes with our readers.
Entering the contest is as easy as using the Promosimple widget below. Do enter! And come back Wednesday and Friday for some more fantastic giveaways!
Looking for more frozen treat week recipes?
Mango Raspberry Pops from Katie’s Cucina
Mango Margarita Boozesicles from Nutmeg Nanny
Blood Orange Chocolate Popsicles from Rachel Cooks
Cookies & Ice Cream Pie from Chocolate & Carrots
Pineapple Mint Popsicles from Sweet Remedy
3-Minute Easy Cherry Chocolate Sorbet from An Edible Mosaic
Chocolate Blueberry Crumble Pop from Cooking with Books
Easy Frozen Cherry Pie from Cook the Story
Bananas Foster Ice Cream from The Baker Chick
White Chocolate Buttermint Ice Cream from Eats Well With Others
Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles from Damn Delicious
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Zoku or OXO, I did not receive product or payment to write this. Zoku and OXO are, however, providing one prize package to give away.