This is a kid-friendly ice cream you can make and enjoy with the entire family. It doesn’t require the labor of a French ice cream, but the activity will teach children kitchen skills such as bringing a mixture to a certain temperature and using an ice bath. The ice cream uses maraschino cherries, so it is sweet enough for kids to enjoy.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces (American) cream cheese, cut into 8 cubes
- 1 cup (192 grams) white sugar
- .5 teaspoon kosher salt (or .25 teaspoon table salt)
- juice from a 10 ounce jar of maraschino cherries
Select a large, sturdy saucepan and fit it with a candy thermometer or use a handheld cooking thermometer. Prepare an ice bath by choosing a bowl large enough to accommodate your saucepan. Fill the bowl with water and ice and set it aside.
Put the milk, cream cheese, sugar and salt into the saucepan. Place a sieve over the saucepan and strain the juice from the jar of maraschino cherries into the saucepan. Remove all stems from the cherries and place the cherries back in the jar. Store the jar in the refrigerator.
Over medium heat, begin warming the ingredients in the saucepan. Stir constantly with a fork, working to break up the chunks of cream cheese. You must dissolve all of the cream cheese into the milk before the mixture reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Use your thermometer to monitor the temperature of the liquid. When the liquid reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, pull it from the stove and set it in the ice bath, stirring constantly. When the mixture is cool, pour it into an airtight container and store it in the back of the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Once the mixture is chilled:
- the jar of maraschino cherries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Using a small, sharp knife, cut each maraschino cherry into four pieces. Set aside.
Stir the fresh lemon juice into the ice cream batter and begin freezing the batter according to your manufacturer’s directions. When the batter is a few minutes from finishing the freezing process, spoon the chopped cherries into the batter and allow them to spread throughout the ice cream. When your ice cream is finished, store it in the freezer.