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I made a batch of cherry ice cream last night and for some reason it seems to taste like I have used cherry flavouring/syrup rather than the actual cherries which were used instead.

The cherries themselves had been frozen / defrosted before being added to the custard base, which I wouldn't have thought would make a difference (but maybe it does), but apart from that I'm a bit baffled as to why this has happened?

edit Cherries went into the freezer fully ripe and tasting delicious - they were unpitted and frozen in one whole batch (not separated out as you might do with say blackberries)

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Have you tried making the exact same ice cream without first freezing those cherries? For that matter... ice cream aside, do the cherries taste like they did before you froze them? – talon8 Jan 14 '11 at 16:01
@talon this was my first attempt at cherry ice cream, and they've been frozen for a couple of weeks now so I couldn't be sure about how different they taste other than to say that pre-freezing they were nice!! – Dibstar Jan 14 '11 at 16:38
your assumption that freezing won't change them isn't quite true. Freezing ruptures cell walls and changes texture. They were probably mushier on defrosting than they were pre-freezing. – justkt Jan 14 '11 at 18:08
up vote 8 down vote accepted

You say that they were frozen with the stones? I think it is the freezing of the stones that caused it. The stone is where most of the "artificial", almondlike flavour sits, just like with apricot pits and almonds. I bet that when they were frozen, some of them cracked and [insert correct name of flavour agent] seeped out into the flesh of the fruit.

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From: - "...To Pit Or Not To Pit... While you don't have to, cherries frozen with pits intact may pick up some of the nutty flavor of the pit over time..." – talon8 Jan 14 '11 at 22:56
It's also possible that in addition to picking up some flavour from the pits, the recipe simply called for too much sugar, such that it basically was cherry syrup in the end. A lot of the worst fruit-flavoured pastries and desserts I've eaten are simply far too sweet; fruits are supposed to be mildly tart, so too much sweetness tastes unnatural. – Aaronut Jan 15 '11 at 4:07
This makes sense to me - it wasn't particularly sweet (I used a similar amount of sugar as when I make strawberry ice cream) - I'll try pitting them before freezing in the future! – Dibstar Jan 17 '11 at 12:48

I hate to say it, but it sounds like you've answered your own question in your first sentence.

Have you tried to make cherry ice cream without syrup and found it not cherry enough? You need to use really ripe fruit.

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I think one of us is misinterpreting @Davin's first sentence: I read it as, he used actual cherries, not syrup. – Marti Jan 14 '11 at 14:56
@Marti - face palm, you're right. Haven't had my coffee yet. The really ripe fruit doesn't hold in that context. :( – uncle brad Jan 14 '11 at 14:59
@marti,@brad - sorry if not clear - I used a real punnet of cherries frozen (with stones) and then defrosted, blended and added to the custard base. The cherries were lovely when they went into the freezer (I ate another batch bought at the same time from the same place and they were delicious!) – Dibstar Jan 14 '11 at 15:19

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