Here in Australia, we celebrate Christmas in summer when cherries are in season. In Adelaide, South Australia, we have a fantastic cherry growing region in the Adelaide Hills, just a short drive from the city centre. It’s fitting, then, that an Australian Christmas is all about the cherries (and the chocolate). And how we love them!
But this year hasn’t been a great cherry season, so they’re quite a bit more expensive than usual. With that in mind, I have created this recipe using canned cherries. The advantages are, not only are they already pitted, but they are available all year round, so you can enjoy this recipe whenever you like. And just quietly, I think that a splash of red wine would work beautifully. If I weren’t writing a blog about kids’ food, you can bet that I would have happily added some, which I think would have made this dish something akin to mulled wine cherry ice-cream. Maybe I’ll try that out on the grown-ups on Christmas Day!
I’m about a week late posting this recipe, so it really is a last-minute idea. We’ve been battling a range of pre-Christmas ailments at our house, so I’ve been dealing with sick kids rather than paying attention to my blog. But today, at last, everyone seems to be on the mend and I’ve found a bit of time in the kitchen. Maybe this recipe will round out your Christmas menu, or be just what you need for a summer dessert or New Year’s Eve celebration.
I plan to serve this ice-cream on Christmas Day with the traditional steamed Christmas pudding (not gluten-free, but a recipe that has been in my husband’s family for around 80 years), or for family treats and impromptu meals with guests.
I wish you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas and festive season. I thank you for your support this year. It really is wonderful to know that there are people out there who read this blog and find it useful. I get such a kick out of your comments, your likes, and even that you simply visit this site and take a look around.
I’ll be taking a few weeks off from blogging to enjoy some summer holiday fun with my family, and then I’ll be back in mid-January. Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
2 litres good quality gluten-free vanilla ice-cream
680 gram jar Morello sour pitted cherries
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
40 grams brown sugar
Fresh cherries and/or berries, to garnish
Leave ice-cream at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to soften.
Line a loaf tin (measuring 14 x 24 centimetres) with plastic film, with a generous excess amount of film at either end.
Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. In a large saucepan, combine cherries, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, sugar and 250 millilitres of the reserved liquid. If you don’t have enough liquid, add water to make up the 250 millilitres.
Bring mixture to the boil and then turn down the heat and allow to simmer rapidly for 15 to 20 minutes until about two-thirds of the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the softened ice-cream and cherry mixture. Then pour the mixture into the lined tin. Spread evenly and then cover with the excess plastic film and freeze for 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) until frozen.
To serve, briefly dip the base of the tin into hot water. Peel back film and invert onto a serving platter and completely remove film. Slice to serve, with fresh berries and/or cherries.
Serves 6-8 people.