Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cranberry Cheesecake Ice Cream {The Get Your Chef On Challenge}

I am excited to be participating in my second ever Get Your Chef On Challenge from Julie at White Lights on Wednesdays and Jen at Four Marrs and One Venus.  This Get Your Chef On Challenge is...
Cranberries!!

I love cranberries.  Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce, right? ;)  Last holidays, I made a cranberry upside down cake for family and it was a huge hit.  Cranberries can be tart.  With some sugar and a little heat, they can become syrupy sweet.  They are a great addition to savory meals.  They are perfect in desserts.  And dried they are a fabulous snack.  

Since receiving my very first ice cream maker as a birthday gift a few months ago, I have been obsessed with creating new and delicious homemade ice cream flavors.  I thought why not a festive cranberry cheesecake ice cream?  ;)  I have discovered that using sweetened condensed milk in my ice cream base has allowed me to eliminate three things typically found in homemade ice cream- sugar,eggs, and heavy cream.  The canned milk gives my homemade ice cream all the sweetness and creaminess that it needs.

What you will need:
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 dashes of cloves (optional)
14oz can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional- you could also used toasted almonds or walnuts in this)
Rock salt and ice for ice cream maker

Be sure to chill the ice cream  maker container in the freezer while you prep the cranberries and the ice cream base.
In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries and sugar.  Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar is melted.  Add in a few dashes of cloves (I like the addition of the cloves because it is a flavor that just tastes like the holidays to me).  Continue heating until bubbly (like the photo above) and then remove from the heat.  Pour the cranberry mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.

When the cranberry sauce is almost cool, start the cheesecake base for your ice cream.  In a large bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk, the cream cheese, vanilla, half and half, and sour cream.  Beat until smooth and then pour into your chilled ice cream container.

Churn according to your ice cream maker's specifications.  I churned my ice cream for about 30 minutes. 
Once it is done churning, scrape all of the cheesecake ice cream into a freezer safe container.  It will be somewhat runny.  Don't worry- it will thicken up in the freezer.  Carefully mix in your cranberry sauce and your white chocolate chips (or toasted nuts or both).  Do not over mix.  Just mix enough to get a few thick swirls of cranberry throughout your ice cream. 
Cover tightly and freeze overnight.
You will need to let the ice cream sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before trying to scoop it out the next day.  Homemade ice cream tends to freeze harder than the store bought varieties. 

This Cranberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is creamy and sweet with a slight pop of tartness from the cranberry swirl. If you are looking for an unique dessert for your next holiday gathering, I think you have found it. ;) 

Want to check out the rest of my competition in the Get Your Chef On Cranberries Challenge?  Click below to check out some other cranberry inspired deliciousness!