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Hi all!! 

I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads. 

Thank you!



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Are they sweetened dried sour cherries?  Dried fruit has very little water and wouldn't get icy, and any sugar in the fruit is already concentrated.  I think the brandy soak should suffice without additional sugar.

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Posted (edited)

Or would adding the water to rehydrate them a little (2 c cherries 1 c water) the reason that they would become rock hard in the ice cream? because of the additional water content? @pastrygirl

Edited by amyneill (log)
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yeah you don't want to dilute the sugar too much, I don't remember how fully cherries re-hydrate but I'm sure I've done something similar


maybe 2 c dried (sweetened) sour cherries, 1/2 c (1:1) simple syrup, 1/4 c brandy?  You don't want a ton of extra liquid, that would be a waste of brandy ;)

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Forgive me, I'm just a visitor to this topic:  last cherry season I dehydrated a bunch of cherries* and if I were putting them in ice cream I would add them dried.  Maybe chopped up a bit.



*a bunch of cherries dehydrated is not that much.



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17 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

yeah you don't want to dilute the sugar too much, I don't remember how fully cherries re-hydrate but I'm sure I've done something similar


maybe 2 c dried (sweetened) sour cherries, 1/2 c (1:1) simple syrup, 1/4 c brandy?  You don't want a ton of extra liquid, that would be a waste of brandy ;)


on the plus side if you have leftover brandy afterwards it makes for a bomb cocktail add

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  • 1 month later...

Coat-tailing on this existing thread, I want to share a stupid-easy ice cream dessert.    I used this merely as inspiration.    My interpretation = premium vanilla ice cream (softened), strawberries cut into quarters or eights depending on size, pitted Bing cherries cut into halves or quarters, minced Meyer lemon zest, toasted slivered almonds, torn fresh mint.    Packed into a rectangular crock lined with parchment paper, leaving several inch paper to cover and ease removal.   Frozen overnight.    Brought out after main course, before cheese,    The brick pulled out easily by the parchment wrap, cut with sharp knife.    Sublime!   


Served the last slice to grandkids last night.    They too loved it, and went home determined to make it themselves.

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eGullet member #80.

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  • 2 months later...

The standard approach is to cut up the fruit and add sugar. Kind of like how you'd do a salt-rub on a piece of meat. Sprinkle generous amounts of sugar on the fruit, cover it, and let it sit in the fridge for several hours until the sugar has drawn water out of the fruit, dissolved, and been reabsorbed. It will now be resistant to turning into little rocks. And because we're less sensitive to sweetness when food is very cold, it won't taste as cloyingly sweet as you might expect.


Disclaimer: I haven't done this since I worked at a commercial ice cream shop way back in the 20th century. I don't tolerate super sweet things now the way I did then. So I don't know how much I'd like this. I have not made ice cream with chunks of fruit since those days. And my ice cream consulting clients don't ask me about stuff like inclusions, so I don't know how they're handling it either. But this idea is worth trying. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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@paulraphael  I'm trying to understand this.  Are you saying the juice that the sugar that has drawn out of the fruit will be reabsorbed into the fruit?  Or is it the sugar that is absorbed into the fruit.  What then, do you do with the juice?  Sorry if this is a stupid question.

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14 hours ago, ElsieD said:

Or is it the sugar that is absorbed into the fruit.  What then, do you do with the juice?  Sorry if this is a stupid question.


I'm sure @paulraphael will correct me if i'm way off but it sounds like the sugar is breaking down the cell walls of the fruit -leaching out a portion of the water in the fruit (which is most likely to freeze hard). I'm skeptical much sugar is being absorbed into the fruit with out it being cooked (like confit of fruit would for example) but i could be wrong. 


And for the juice?! I would say use it to make a flavored Lemonade!  

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