I never thought the day would ever come that I will be able to make my own ice cream. Granting that the concept of a Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream is not original (I can imagine so many variations on the internet!) the fact is, I made this version on my own, by hand...well, aided by the ice cream maker for churning (though I did make some of it without the ice cream maker just to see if it was possible at all to make ice cream without one). I am quite proud that I did it. Am sure my parents would be so proud, too! :-) I can now check-off the ice cream on my must-try list and can begin experimenting on many other delicious possibilities!!!
Anyway, this is a truly delicious ice cream and quite versatile too 'cause you can use your favorite kind of cherries and adjust the amount of cheesecake according to your preference. The first time I made it, I only used half a block of an 8 oz package of cream cheese, which is already fine. However, since I love to have a stronger taste of the cream cheese to shine through to provide a flavor contrast with the cherries and the sweetened milk, I will surely add more (perhaps even the whole block - ha!) for next time.
So I encourage you to overcome your fear in making ice cream and don't fret if you don't have an ice cream maker either. Below you will find instructions on how to make a smooth and delicious ice cream without one. Of course, it will require more attention than usual but it's no big effort really, just a quick stir of the ice cream mixture every half an hour or so for about 3-4 hours and then you're all set. So patience is the main key to making a delightful homemade ice cream without the ice cream maker and let me tell you, it's all worth the wait!
Half a block of an 8 oz package of Cream Cheese, softened*
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed Milk
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream (Double Cream)
1 1/2 cups Half and half (Light Cream)
1 cup Whole Milk
1 10 oz jar Maraschino Cherries, well-drained, chopped*
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
*You can increase the cream cheese and use up to 1 (8 oz) block depending on how much cream cheese taste you want to shine through.
*Alternatively, you can use 1 can of pitted Dark Cherries, well-drained and chopped.
Handy tools: Handheld Electric beater or stand mixer, whisk.
Beat the softened Cream cheese in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually, pour in the sweetened condensed milk and continue to beat until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients to the cream cheese mixture and mix well. If using an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the ice cream freezer container and process and freeze according to the manufacturer's instruction.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl and cover. I used a metallic mixing bowl and covered it with foil. Place in the freezer. Take the bowl out every 30 minutes thereafter (for at least 3 hours) and stir the ice cream using either a whisk or a handheld blender or beater. It is necessary to do this to prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze the ice cream overnight or until hard.
I have made this ice cream using both methods and they were both fine. Here's the sample of the ice cream made without the ice cream maker. Looks great, pretty smooth and no ice crystals! It's not impossible, just some patience and a little elbow grease is needed. :-)
Look at your reward! Delicious Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream!!! Enjoy!
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