Food, Miscellany

Fresh Cherries, Vanilla Creme Fraiche, Walnut Pesto, Balsamic Ice Cream

IMG_2086I am a big fan of cherries and think they are best just the way they are.  I can grab a bag from a vendor on the corner, sit in the park and kill a day people watching.  One of my favorite things to do.

Unfortunately, most desserts made with cherries are cooked to death or with a ton of sugar or booze.  It totally kills the cherry and I don’t understand why you would do it.  Now, cherry pie… that’s different.  Don’t argue with me.  Remember McDonald’s cherry pies??  Oh man!!

I don’t want to sound like I just threw this together.  I really didn’t and a lot of trial and error went into this dessert, I promise.   I also wish I could tell you my rhyme and reason for everything that’s on the plate and I can’t.  This just happened to be one of those desserts that popped in my brain and I took off with it.   What I will tell you is that I wanted to make the cherry the star and to keep everything else simple yet complimenting without stealing cherries thunder.  Man, I hate attention whores!!  You’re good walnut pesto but it ain’t your show, know your place.

The walnut pesto was the biggest production actually and won’t be the last time we see it.  I originally made it as a filling for a tart that didn’t work out but enjoyed it too much to let it die.  I use it here and wouldn’t you know, it works perfect. The vanilla creme fraiche is just that, creme fraiche with vanilla sugar.  I did reduce the balsamic before folding it into my whole milk ice cream so you get a more rich intense flavor.   Everything is basic and clean and complimenting to the cherries.  Exactly how it should be.  Nothing steals from the other.  Just how life should be… but isn’t.

This is exactly what I strive for in a plated dessert.  Balance, simplicity, not heavy and one bite you’re hooked and going back for more.

I did the AIDS walk a couple years back and got lost from my friends.  I said “screw it” and headed over to the Upper West Side to grab an ice coffee and came across a flea market in some parking lot.  That is where I found this Balsamic vinegar that blew my mind.  I have used it here in the ice cream and have used it for many different dishes and it never disappoints.   What I’m trying to say is, quality of ingredients makes it or breaks it. IMG_2083

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