Tohoku Recipe: Yamagata Cherry Ice-cream

Turn down the temperature, Tohoku Style!

Hi everyone! The weather in Sendai is getting hotter and hotter every day. This has got cold and refreshing food on my mind all the time! So today I want to share with you my easy go-to ice-cream recipe. You don’t need any complex equipment or even am ice-cream blender for this Cherry-flavored ice-cream, which is made using famous Yamagata Cherries.

Yamagata prefecture is known for many delicious produce, but its cherries are surely the best! Around 70 percent of Japan’s cherries are produced in Yamagata every year. When summer comes, you can see this pretty little red fruit sold all around the city. Yamagata cherries are smaller in size and have a brighter redness to darker American cherry varieties. They have a sweet flavor with a little bit of a refreshing sourness. Its fragrance is nice and unique.

Yamagata cherries can and are mostly eaten fresh, of course. But you can also turn them into yummy ice-cream! Let’s check out the necessary ingredients!

Ingredients

1 pack of Yamagata cherries

360 ml whipping cream

3 egg yolk

1+1/2 tablespoon plain flour

1+1/2 tablespoon corn starch

90 gram sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

red food color (optional)

Not so many ingredients to worry about, huh? Let’s move on to the recipe!

First, we have to prepare our Yamagata cherries.

Remove the stems and seeds from each cherry. I recommend using your hands, as it is much easier and less dangerous than trying to use a knife. After that, tear the flesh into smaller pieces.

Then put the prepared cherries in a pot and cook over a medium-low heat. Add in about half of the sugar. Stir occasionally until it starts to boil.

Pour in the whipping cream and stir. Continue stirring over the heat. When the mixture becomes warm (you can test by dipping your clean finger into it. If you feel that it is hot but can still endure it, it is the proper temperature.), turn off the heat and let it rest.

Mix the remaining sugar with the egg yolks. Use a balloon whisk to whisk the mixture until the color turns to a pale yellow.

Mix in the plain flour, corn starch and vanilla extract. Whisk them until smooth.

Pour about half of the cherry mixture from the pot into the egg mixture and stir. Then pour it back into the pot and stir again. Turn on to a low heat and continue stirring.

You can add small amount of red food colouring if you want. If you don’t, the color will remain yellow from the color of the egg yolk. Japanese cherries don’t have the same deep red color as American cherries, so it won’t affect the colour of the ice-cream so much. However, the fragrance and rich taste will still definitely be present. Stir the mixture in the pot until it thickens. When some bubbles appear on the surface, turn off the heat.

Pour the mixture into a heat-and-cold-resistant food container. Then cover its surface with plastic wrap. Close the box and leave it in the freezer overnight. And it is done!

This is the result! The ice-cream is not too sweet. You will also come across chunks of cherry flesh as you feast on this refreshing ice-cream!

In summer, other than Yamagata cherries there are a lot of delicious fruits available such as peaches, melon and watermelon. You can apply this recipe to those fruits, too! Moreover, if you use great quality summer fruits from Tohoku, their freshness will make your ice-cream even more delicious and refreshing! Please try and share your result with me :))



Piangrawee (Erk) Santivongskul

About Piangrawee (Erk) Santivongskul

Piangrawee Santivongskul has a long and hard-to-pronounce name, so she prefers to be called by her nickname "Erk". Born in Bangkok, Thailand, she came to Sendai two years ago to study Chemistry at Tohoku University. Her passion for Japan began with an interest in Japanese idol-groups, culture and food when she was a junior high-school student. Once she had the chance to travel to Tohoku she quickly added "Tohoku's nature" to her "Favorite things about Japan" list. During her time in Japan Erk is always eager to explore more and more about Tohoku and share her stories with other people.

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