I discovered Cherry Pit Ice Cream a few years ago when I was Googling around for cherry recipes. I’d never used cherry pits as an ingredient before but was immediately intrigued because I absolutely love bitter almond flavor.
Bitter almond is not the flavor of the typical sweet almond you buy in the grocery store for snacking. The bitter almond is a different nut altogether. The same flavor is found inside peach, cherry and apricot pits. So Cherry Pit Ice Cream does not taste like almond ice cream, it tastes more like marzipan ice cream. I mean, seriously, how is that not tempting?
Yes, cherry pits do contain a molecule that can become a form of cyanide when the seed is crushed. But after reading many, many articles discussing how much cyanide is released and how much you actually ingest I’m pretty comfortable making and eating this dessert.
I’ve made and eaten this recipe several times before and have lived to tell the tale. I’ve also served it to my family with no worries. We’re all fine and I look forward to making it again next year. That being said, I, my husband, and our kids are all healthy, young (well, youngish, in my and my husband’s case) adults. You can decide for yourself if you’re comfortable cooking with cherry pits.
I used pits from sour cherries which are pretty small, but you could save up pits from any type of cherry; Bing, Ranier or Sour. The pits from sweet cherries are a little larger than those from sour cherries so maybe they’re a little easier to crack.
The hardest part of this recipe is cracking the seeds. I tried a food processor and a blender and the seeds just spun around and made a lot of noise. I got the best results putting the seeds in an old kitchen towel, going outside to the stone patio, and bashing the heck out of the seeds with a meat tenderizer.
The flavor is in the inner kernel, but don’t bother separating them from the hulls because it will all be strained out anyway.
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