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I am going to be making cherry ice cream, I haven't used cherries before but in making strawberry ice cream I have always macerated the berries.

Should I do the same for cherries, the few recipes I have looked at don't say to to this.

I am planning to use the Good Eats custard base and add the cherries and some dark chocolate chunks.

  • Can I come to your house? – Sobachatina Jul 22 '14 at 16:29
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tl;dr Either way is fine.

When making ice cream- your quest is to bind up water. Water crystallizes and makes ice cream icy instead of creamy. There are a lot of ways to keep water from freezing in ice cream from reducing the volume of water in the mix, to using natural antifreezes, to binding the water up with gums or starches.

Sugar loves water. The water will eagerly hook up with sugar and won't be able to freeze.

If you macerate your cherries two things will happen-

1- Water will be drawn out of the cherries and
2- The water that is left in them will be saturated with sugar and slower to freeze.

The result is that the cherries will be softer, sweeter (of course), be slightly more concentrated, and not freeze solid.

If you don't macerate them then they will be little chunks for cherry ice.

Both ways are perfectly tasty and I've had ice creams that do it either way. It just depends what you want to make.

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    I guess I could certainly do half the cherries macerated and just pieces for the other half, my thought was that macerating will draw out some color as well and give the ice cream a nice pink shade – draksia Jul 22 '14 at 16:41
  • That's an interesting thought. I'd like to know how much color is pulled out of a cherry when it is macerated. My guess would be less than with a strawberry but I don't know. – Sobachatina Jul 22 '14 at 16:43
  • @draksia Not just color, but flavor as well. – logophobe Jul 22 '14 at 22:42
  • If you're worried about the color / flavor, you could always blend the juice drawn from the cherries back into the mix. – Kogitsune Jul 23 '14 at 13:06
  • I decided to cook the cherries for a bit with some sugar, strained all the juice added to the ice cream base. It didn't freeze as much as I would have liked in the churn. Sampling is tonight so I hope it turned out ok. – draksia Jul 25 '14 at 14:56

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