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Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Poached cherries and chunks of marzipan make this cherry chocolate chip ice cream extra special.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts 1x


Units Scale
  • For cherries:
  • 1/2 lb. fresh cherries, pitted (or more if you want a lot of cherries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. amaretto syrup (like Torani, or use 2 Tbsp. amaretto liqueur or kirsch)
  • For chocolate chunks:
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • For almond ice cream base:
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 2 cups whole or low-fat milk (not skim)
  • 46 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 12 tsp. vanilla extract (or 1/4 tsp. almond extract)
  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 6 oz. marzipan, cut into small chunks (optional, but really good)


  1. For cherries: Combine cherries, sugar, water and amaretto syrup. Bring to a boil and cook until the cherries soften and the liquid turns into a syrup. Remove from heat and scoop cherries into a clean bowl using a slotted spoon. Reserve the syrup for another use. (See below.) Cover and chill until ready to add to ice cream base.
  2. For chocolate chunks: Melt chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl on 50% power, or in a bain marie (a bowl set over a pan of simmering water). Pour onto a large round plate or cookie sheet. Place into freezer to harden. When the chocolate is set, use a very thin spatula to scrape along the surface to form curls or shards. Freeze until ready to add to the ice cream.
  3. For almond ice cream base: Place almonds and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let steep for several hours. Reheat until very hot, but not boiling.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and pinch of salt until very thick and light in color. Pour a little of the hot milk through a fine mesh sieve into the egg/sugar mixture and whisk well. Repeat with remaining hot milk and press the almonds to extract as much of the liquid (and flavor) as possible. (Reserve the almonds for another use. See below for suggestions.)
  5. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the custard thickens and reaches 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer. Pour through custard through the same fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
  6. Add the cold cream to the custard and whisk well. Add the vanilla or almond extract, if using. Let cool to room temperature, cover and place in refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  7. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions.
  8. When ice cream base has finished churning, transfer 1/4 of the ice cream to a freezer-proof bowl or ice cream pan. (I like to use a bread pan lined with waxed paper.) Layer 1/3 of the cherries, 1/3 of the chocolate and 1/3 of the chopped marzipan over the ice cream. Top with another 1/4 of the ice cream and repeat with the remaining cherries, chocolate and marzipan, finishing with the last 1/4 of the ice cream. Press waxed paper against the surface and place in freezer to harden before serving.


*Leave out the chocolate and use diced peaches.
*Use slightly underripe apricots or dried apricots in place of the cherries.
*Substitute other kinds of chocolate, including white chocolate
*Substitute blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries for the cherries.
*Leave out the marzipan and swap out the chopped almonds for pecans or walnuts.

Ideas for using the cherry syrup and leftover almonds:
*Stir the chopped almonds into oatmeal
*Add chopped almonds to pancake or waffle batters, cookie dough, cakes, or other desserts.
*Add to a smoothie

*Use the cherry syrup to flavor lemonade or limeade, lemon-lime soda or sparkling water, or to a cocktail
*Pour over ice cream, pancakes or waffles, or oatmeal
*Use again to poach more cherries

  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American