I recently bought a 2 pound can of Amarena cherries in heavy syrup to make a couple of Italian desserts. I used some of the cherries to make Amarena Cherry Gelato, a sweet and creamy ice cream filled with sweet, dark cherries. Amarena cherries are dark bitter cherries found in the Bologna and Modena regions of Italy. The cherries are usually preserved in syrup. I also use these cherries to make Saint Joseph’s Day Zeppole.
Amarena cherries are found in specialty food shops. You can also buy Amarena Toschi Italian black cherries in syrup on Amazon, where I buy lots of my hard to find ingredients. To make Amarena Cherry Gelato, I usually start by making a vanilla gelato. I mix together equal amounts of whole milk and heavy cream, about a cup of sugar (you can reduce the sugar in this recipe since the cherries are extra sweet), and a vanilla bean, if I have one. If not, I used vanilla extract.
I usually add a cup of Amarena cherries in syrup to the mix when it’s almost done, but this can be increased or decreased to suit your taste. There are no eggs in this recipe, so there’s no cooking of the cream mixture required or chilling it for 2 hours before pouring into the ice cream machine. When it’s ready to eat, the gelato will have a slight pink tint and loads of sweet, dark Amarena cherries.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup Amarena cherries in syrup
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low-speed to combine the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, and vanilla.
- Turn the ice cream/gelato machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the Amarena cherries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
I shared this recipe at some of these awesome parties.
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