There is nothing in the world like a bag of sweet juicy cherries and their loud welcome to the start of the summer fruits, it’s like having a hug from your Nonna who you haven’t seen for a while, dribble goes all over the place but you don’t have a care in the world about it.
Welcome blue skies and toasty weather arrived back in Abruzzo today as well as the present of a large bag of sweet cherries from our veggie girls; although I adore cherries, with the rise in temperature I thought it may be perhaps better turning them into healthy[ish] cherry ice-cream using Abruzzo’s finest ricotta as its base; the resulting dense but creamy texture will appeal to all lovers of Southern Indian Kulfi ice-cream to which it is very reminisent of.
For anyone with any sort of guilt complex about eating cherry ice-cream, this one is a little bit healthier than the usual; it cuts out the cream & sugar, ricotta is high in Omega fatty acids, which is great for fighting heart disease, as well as using the smallest amount of honey. A different sort of dribble is evoked by a spoonful, equally delicious as the original fruits, and confirms summer’s arrival!
- 300 g Ricotta
- 340 g Sweet Cherries pitted
- Zest from 1/4 Unwaxed Organic Lemon
- 2 tablespoons Cherry RataFia (alternatively another cherry liqueur that you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons Acacia Honey or alternatively a light high quality honey (you don’t want to drown the taste of the cherries)
Add the ricotta into your food blender and whizz till it’s broken down into a thick paste.
To the ricotta add lemon zest and blend in the cherries slowly, don’t add too many at a time otherwise the skins won’t break down.
Add honey and the Ratafia give a final whizz together then pour into a plastic container, cover with a lid and put into the freezer.
Once every hour break up the ice-cream crystals return into the freezer repeating 4 times. (Obviously if you have an ice-cream maker you can leave churn & do it all for you ...).
Serve with a sprinkle of toasted crushed almonds and a glass of Ratafia.
If you’re in Abruzzo the first weekend of June don’t miss Raiano’s Cherry Sagra