I have no idea where or how the disconnect occurred, having grown up “gifted” in the realm of food. A separation did exist, though, between my idea of cherries, and the true beauty of the fruit.
For some strange reason, I had in my mind that cherries lived only in the form of the sickly syruped maraschino cherry that topped my occassional Shirley Temple treat when dining “extra fancy.” On top of that was the much impressioned aritificial cherry flavoring from cough syrups and cold lozenges. Yuck. Frankly, cherries repulsed me…or so I thought.
In reality, I had no idea what in the world cherries really were, until a summer trip to Seattle introduced me to the sweet heaven of the stone fruits. Bing cherries were nice to try, yes, but Rainier cherries were something else all together. After just one taste, I believe I devoured the entire 2 lb. bag in one sitting. (This is not an intelligent plan of action, by the way – life is not really a “bowl of cherries” following such a move. I suppose it could be worse).
A few years later, on a summer trip to a lakehouse in northern Michigan, these sweet treats won my heart again -
This time they came in the form of fresh black cherries…chunked into homemade ice cream. We went back three nights in a row for more – double scoops, always.
Thus, I couldn’t resist. And, when made with the rich, delicious creaminess of coconut milk, and the zing of local raw honey, there really is no turning back. On a hot summer day, honestly…dig right in – again, double scoops, always.
Cherry Vanilla Ice Crème
2 14oz. cans 365 Coconut Milk (Full Fat)
1 c. raw honey
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. fresh Rainier cherries, pitted and diced
In a large bowl, combine coconut milk, honey, and vanilla and stir well. Chill for 1-2 hours.
Transfer to ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer directions.
Add diced cherries to the mixture during the last 5-10 minutes of processing.