Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Those of you who have followed my blog for some time know that August is Birthday Month for many of my friends and family. Mom and her Mother, Uncle and his Sister, Friends and Tasters, Nephews and a Boy Upstairs, and too many more to mention were all born in the 8th month. You might, also, recall, that Mom loved ice cream and to commemorate her birthday, I normally post ice cream recipes in August. Note the word “normally.”

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Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt

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This year I though I would switch things up a bit. You see, about 20 years ago, I bought a fancy schmancy gelato maker and it broke long before the investment paid for itself in tasty frozen treats. Its recipe book survived, however, and one day I made a batch of “frozen yogurt.” Everyone loved it and marveled at the creaminess of this low-fat dessert. The only problem was that, just like the old Seinfeld episode, it wasn’t at all low-fat. There was just as much heavy cream in it as I use in normal ice cream. Yes, there was a little yogurt in the mix but nowhere near enough to justify it being called “frozen yogurt,” let alone “low-fat.” That was about 7 years ago and I’ve never attempted to make frozen yogurt again — until now.

With Birthday Month already underway, I turned to another recipe book for inspiration. I soon found it in the form of a tart cherry frozen yogurt. You see, on my return home following my last visit with Zia, I stopped at a farm and purchased 20 pounds of frozen, pitted tart cherries. (You may be interested to learn that Michigan produces as much as 70% of our country’s tart cherries.) Once home, I delivered some to a neighbor and the rest of the tarts are sitting pretty in my freezer.

So, with recipe and cherries in hand, I made my first batch of frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, it wasn’t at all what I had expected. Sure, the flavor was outstanding but its texture was very much like a sorbet rather than a creamy, frosted confection. Worse, I had doubled the recipe and now had 6 cups (1400 ml) of the stuff to eat — and eat it I did. Waste a frozen dessert in Mom’s Birthday Month? Never! Convinced I had made a mistake — not at all an uncommon occurrence in my kitchen — I tried it again, though this time I made a single batch. The result was the same and I had another 3 cups of frozen yogurt/sorbet to eat.  All the while, Birthday Month marched on.

Last week, having eaten 9 cups of the stuff during what had to have been the coolest August on record, I decided to try again. This time, I put aside the recipe book and borrowed a page from the old gelato maker’s recipes. I added heavy cream. That’s right, heavy cream and I played around with the other ingredient amounts, as well. The result? A frozen yogurt with a texture far closer to ice cream than sorbet and a tart cherry flavor that is oh, so very good. Not only that but since I made this dessert, Summer has returned and our temperatures have soared at least 10˚ F above normal for this time of year. Message received, Mom.

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Tart Cherries - 1

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In retrospect, I think the poor texture was due to the amount of liquid contained in the bags of frozen cherries. I bet if I had drained much of the liquid, the texture probably would have been less icy. It may have, also, been less flavorful. I guess the World will have to wait for the answer because I don’t think I’ll be making tart cherry yogurt again for quite some time — well, at least until next August, anyway.

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Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (455 g) of tart cherries, pitted
  • 2/3 cup (135 g) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • a few drops almond extract
  • 1 cups (245 g) whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz (118 ml) heavy cream — the more the merrier

Directions

yield: a little less than 1 quart

  1. Place cherries and sugar in a medium sauce pan over med-high heat. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Add the almond extract and place the cherries and juice into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  4. Place mixture in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Once fully chilled, stir to combine the cherries, heavy cream, and Greek yogurt.
  6. Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  7. Serve or freeze until the yogurt is frozen to your satisfaction.

Originally inspired by David Lebovitz, “The Perfect Scoop”

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To make the chocolate sauce:

Melt 4 oz (110 g) in the top of a double boiler. Once melted, add 2 oz (60 ml) warmed heavy cream, a pinch of salt, and mix to combine. Take the chocolate off of the heat and add an 1/8 tsp of vanilla. Stir and serve.

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Variations

While I was in the throes of trying to eat all of this sorbet masquerading as yogurt, Sally, creator of the enchanting Bewitching Kitchen blog, posted a recipe for blackberry-cherry yogurt, In it, she used banana to smooth the texture. Not heavy cream but banana! I had intended to follow her lead but Birthday Month was coming to an end faster than was my supply of substandard frozen yogurt. Not only that but there was heavy cream in the fridge but no bananas on the counter. I will, however, keep her “solution” in mind the next time I attempt to freeze yogurt.

Notes

Nothing goes better together than cherries and almonds. Even so, too much almond extract will totally overpower the tart cherry flavor. Use almond extract sparingly, tasting as you go.

This recipe will yield just under a quart of frozen yogurt. Let’s face it, one scant quart of any frozen dessert is hardly worth the effort to make it. Double the recipe and be happy.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Nothing says "Happy Birthday!" like una bomba!

Nothing says “Happy Birthday!” like una bomba!

If we’re going to take a look back at the end of a frozen dessert post, there really is only one post deserving of mention, especially in August. For today’s blast from the past, I’m going to send you to the granddaddy ice cream post of them all. Yes, it’s the Spumoni Bomba. With layers of cherry, pistachio, and chocolate ice creams, this is one frozen treat your guests will never forget. All you need do is click HERE for the frosty details.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Pupster Peanut Butter

Pupster Peanut Butter

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172 thoughts on “Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt

    • That’s a pitfall of blogging. I sit here and read a recipe, see the photos, and suddenly I’m hungry — even though I just finished a full meal minutes before.
      Thanks for the visit and for taking the time to comment.

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  1. It’s funny that you had to eat nine cups of frozen yogurt in the name of science, food science that is! It’s also funny that I just made myself a fruit-ice cream cake for my birthday last night!

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    • I love that cake you made for yourself, Laura! I’ll gladly take one of those for my birthday and you needn’t worry about ice cream. I’m sure to have some of this around. 😉

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  2. I love your tenacity John, and waste any form of food, never! Oh, now I get why I don’t lose the extra weight – oh well. Pete is home this week so we shall toast all of your August birthdays this evening. 😀 Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • Thanks, Mandy. I must keep experimenting and testing. With your visit looming, everything must be perfect. I do hope you toast my family and friends as a group and not individually. Yikes! 🙂

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  3. Love this one! Just this weekend, me and my family went to Orange Leaf, a yogurt place with all the toppings you want. Gave us an idea to buy a pint of Vanilla and peach flavor and get our own fresh strawberries and mango. It was yummy but I would say homemade ones are the best just like the one you shared. Thanks.

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    • I bet your Son had a blast at Orange Leaf! Frozen yogurt and any toppings you want? That’s heaven for a boy. I bet you and your Wife were grinning ear to ear watching him. 🙂

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    • I agree, Maureen. I’m looking forward to trying the banana, too. I think I may try it with another fruit, though, I’ve had just about my fill of tart cherry froze anything right now. 🙂

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    • Well, Marie. You could pack up the kids and take a drive to Michigan’s West coast next Spring. I’ll even meet you. By car, it’s only about 13 hours each way. Won’t that be fun? Or, maybe we could figure out a way I could ship you some. 🙂

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  4. Will have to remember this recipe next year during cherry season.
    Was thinking, what if you drain the frozen cherries but reserve the drained liquid. Follow recipe’s step 1 as written. In a separate saucepan, reduce the drained liquid to a syrup consistency then add to step 2. this would, hopefully, solve the texture and flavor issues.

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    • Thanks, Norma, and I think you’re right. Another commenter also mentioned using a syrup. Besides, having extra cherry jice is certainly not a bad thing. I’l surely find some use for it. 🙂

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  5. Great post, what amazing photos!!!!! Thanks so much for the pingback to the Bewitching, quite an honor, I am thrilled….

    Texture is indeed a big issue when one tries to reduce fat content – I say that for real special occasions it is worth splurging on the heavy cream 😉

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    • Thank you, Sally, and have you read the other comments? Your banana idea is a big hit. I definitely plan on using it, just not right now and certainly not with cherries of any kind. I’ve kinda had my fill lately. 🙂
      I do agree, though, that some things should be full or whole fat. No fat sour cream? Really?

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    • Thanks, MD. Invite me to your next one and I’ll make sure there’s plenty of ice cream to go around. Just keep me away from the Jaegermeister. All bets are off once that bottle makes an appearance. 🙂

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  6. Cherries are my favourite summer fruit- and that frozen wonderfulness looks, well, wonderful. I too am surrounded by those born in August- might have to make some belated birthday treats!

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    • There really are a surplus of August birthday, isn’t there? I never really paid much attention until I entered all of them into my calendar. Prior to that I relied on my memory. I was rather surprised once I had them all listed in front of me. That was 2 years ago and that’s when I started making ice cream in August to commemorate them all. I’m anxious to see what you’ll make to commemorate yours. 🙂

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  7. I always wondered if ‘healthy’ frozen yogurt was indeed healthy, but I always suspected it would be laden with lots of sugar, not cream…home made is always best regardless and your cherry version doesn’t disappoint! Your mum would be super proud John 🙂

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    • Thanks, Lisa. I hope she would be. There is always plenty of sugar in them and, one never really knows whether something is truly “fat free” or ‘low fat”, does one? I say just enjoy the treat in moderation and not worry about it. 🙂

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  8. Oh yum! I love tart cherries, they are my favorite for pie and turnovers and I imagine if I ever had the chance to try your frozen yogurt, they would be my favorite there too. Happy Birthday to all your friends and family celebrating this month ~ they are very fortunate to have someone like you to toast them with his frozen confections. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Judy. I feel like the one who’s been blessed, having so many great people in my life. We are definitely in agreement about the tart cherries. Having so many in my freezer means that this Fall/WInter, I’ll be able to bake a pie and some muffins, and, of course there’ll be plenty of jam on the cupboard shelves. Maybe I should have bought more? 🙂

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  9. Happy birthday month to the Bartolini clan, we’ll raise our glasses this afternoon during cocktail hours (and no, that’s not a typo!). I must say that there was a time that cherry was my all time favourite ice cream flavour, but sour cherry and yogurt? All together? Sounds absolutely wonderful! Banana sounds like a great way to add creaminess without the bad fats, but it also adds flavour; I was thinking about avocado! Yes, you read that correctly. Avocado adds an incredibly creamy texture but the flavour is much more subtle and would easily be over powered by the sour cherries and yogurt.
    It’s funny hat you mentioned that particular Seinfeld episode because its always on top of mind when I eat fat-free Greek yogurt; how could anything so darn creamy be fat free?? Just sayin’

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    • Thank you so much, Eva, for the birthday wishes for my Clan. Amazing how so many share the same Birthday Month. I never considered banana and certainly hadn’t thought of avocado. Others have suggested creating more of a syrup to reduce the cherry liquid content. All sound like great suggestions. The timing. though, could be improved upon. I’ve pretty much had my fill of frozen cherry desserts for right now — and I’ve got a few more cups yet in my freezer. Maybe I’ll re-open the test kitchens during Indian Summer. 😉
      That Seinfeld episode ruined frozen yogurt for many of us. Like you, I cannot buy a scoop of low/no fat frozen yogurt without feeling like I’m being scammed.

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  10. Great photo, John. I love the color you got with the cherries and I’m sure the ice cream was wonderful. I love cherries but eating 9 cups of ice cream would have done me in. There’s no way I would have made another 3 cups. I applaud your devotion to get it right. 🙂 While I agree with Eva that avocado would provide a creaminess to the yogurt with little added flavor, it would change the overall color of the end product which might not be as appealing.

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    • Thanks, Richard. Seeing that glorious color of your avocado ice cream, I tend to agree with your comment about it affecting the color. Still, it will be worth a try. Others have suggested making a syrup with the juices. That may work best of all, though it will probably increase the sugar content. You know, just like the way commercially-made low/no fat yogurt is processed. 🙂

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  11. Looks great. I too remember the Seinfeld episode. Such a funny one, especially with Newman, being so upset his happy days with “low cal frozen yogurt” were over… 😀

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  12. What an excellent recipe, John! Well, you know that I don’t own an ice cream maker, but I love to read all of these recipes for sherbets, ice creams and frozen yogurt…
    Your mom wold be very proud of you. Happy birthday to all August birthday people (my little Fernando included-08/29)
    Have a nice day! 🙂

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    • Giovanna, you must be part of our family, because Fernando shares his birthday with my husband Richard (*and* the computer changed your ‘would’ to ‘wold’–my maiden name! 😉 ). Happy birthday to your young man!!

      And many happy returns to all of the Bartolini August-babies!!

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    • Thanks, Giovanna, and a very happy birthday to Fernando! I hope he has a great year ahead.
      You know, you don’t have to have an ice cream maker to make ice cream. Mix the ingredients and put the bowl in your freezer. Every 30 to 45 minutes, stir the bowl’s contents and put it back in the freezer. After a couple hours, it will be about as thick as a soft-serve ice cream. At that point you can either serve it or cover it and let it freeze until it is as hard as you like. I’ve made ice cream this way, Giovanna, and it does work. It just takes time — something a Mother with kids is always lacking. 🙂

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  13. Hi John, I am so glad I am not the only one who gets lumbered with not so perfect creations. I still have two tins of Barazeks in the freezer. I love your idea of frozen yoghurt. I have an ice cream maker that hasn’t seen daylight for years, maybe it is time to give it a spin.

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    • Hello, Glenda, and thanks for commenting. It is laughable how many less than perfect dishes come out of my kitchen and how many times I’ve had to prepare the dish again so that I can get the post written. It’s not like I’m dropping weight, though, so it’s not that bad. 🙂
      As for you, Glenda, break out the ice cream maker! Your Summer is getting closer by the day. Re-learn how to use it now so that when the really hot weather arrives, you’ll be making ice cream like a pro. 🙂

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  14. Merry is my middle name (well not really, but you know what I mean) so I’d add more cream! You can never have too much. 😉 Thanks for all the tireless testing you did for us! That show quite a lot of dedication, not to mention a considerable appetite! The results are worth it, though, at least to us – this looks like a tremendous recipe. Great way to celebrate birthday month! Thanks.

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    • Thanks, John, and adding more cream is certainly something I’ll do, once I get back to finding tart cherry frozen desserts tempting again. I’ve hit my limit, for now. Yes, the testing was rigorous but it was all in the name of science. I’m a giver. 🙂

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  15. Oh, John, John, John. Besides being an ice cream/gelato/sorbet/frozen yogurt nut, I am one of those weirdos who aren’t crazy about the texture of cherries but looooove cherry flavor, so this recipe is right up my alley. Yeah, it’s *happening*. 😀 !

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    • Thanks, Kathryn. Wish your Richard a happy birthday for me.
      Texture issues aside, this frozen whatever does have a great flavor, The cherries, almond extract, and Greek yogurt are a great combination and the result is delicious. I hope you’ll like it if you try it.

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  16. AH – I have a vision of you surrounded by pots and pots of cherry yoghurt – for breakfast, lunch and dinner 🙂 I admire your devotion to perfecting your perfect cherry yoghurt, and for transcribing it here for us all 🙂

    Above and beyond the call of duty, John!

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    • Well, Marianne, it was all in the name of science. Ha!
      I didn’t eat my rejects 3 times a day but, I have to admit, I did have it for breakfast a number of days. I don’t get much natural light in my home and the only time my yard gets direct light is in the morning. So, if I want a picture of a dish for the blog, either I prepare it early in the morning or have an afternoon photo shoot in my front yard, as people return from work. I think I need to buy some lights before I completely ruin my reputation with my neighbors. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Anne. The best part of this post is in the comments. There are some great suggestions for improving the texture and I can’t wait to test them all — just not right now. 🙂

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  17. I can’t say thank you enough. Happy birthday to all your family, if you want an idea make ice cream sandwiches. Save them for later. And it’s always good to see someone else who also pays attention to David Lebovitz’s posts. Love the recipe, too bad I don’t have an ice cream maker

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    • Thank you so much! I ice cream sandwiches are a great idea and I’ll be sure to take advantage. You don’t need a machine to make ice cream. Just mix the ingredients in a bowl and place the bowl in the freezer. After 30 to 45 minutes, give it a good stir and put it back in the freezer. Keep doing this until you get the consistency of a soft serve ice cream, usually after a couple hours. At that point, you can either serve it or keep it in the freezer until it’s as firm as you like.I’ve done this myself and it does work, though it takes more time than pushing a button on a machine. 🙂

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  18. After eating my way through all the gelato shops in Italy, I have been having a real hankering for more!! The gelato sold in shops here just doesn’t measure up, must be their lack of fresh fruit like those tart cherries you have photographed in splendid living color here for us!! I did read (where?? my brain’s forgotten) that I think it’s tough to make with frozen yogurt because of the low fat content in yogurt.. so adding cream (or a banana.. who knew?) must be the answer. Or.. one can make ice cream and eat the entire batch straight out of the machine when it is still soft and pretend it is gelato:D Not that I’ve ever done that.. xx

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    • Thanks, Barb. True confession time. I give quite a bit of my frozen desserts away. I do, however, claim whatever frozen delight remains in the canister and machine blade as my own. So, yes, I have been known to grab a spoon and partake directly from the canister. Why dirty a bowl that will have to be later washed? See? I do this because I’m so environmentally-minded.
      I do think you’re right, though, that the low- fat content is behind the poor texture. I do want to try the banana idea, though just not right now. I’ve done too much for the environment lately. 🙂

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  19. Looks delightful, and I’m sure the almond extract in addition to the yoghurt really nailed it. Hope you are having a good birthday month. Although I come from a relatively small family, we too have lots of birthdays this month – including my own. I too invested in a great ice cream maker a couple of years ago, never looked back and made a couple of new batches this week. Must try adding yoghurt too. Thanks.

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    • You’re so welcome and happy birthday to your family members, too! I love my ice cream maker and use it regularly. I even bring it with me to Michigan when I visit my family, Zia’s neighbors all get a quart before I return home. You’re right about the almond extract. It goes very well with cherries, especially tart cherries, and really adds a lot to this frozen treat.

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  20. I showed this post to the boys and they demanded I try to make it – Looks yummy! They were intrigued by your teaser for Pupster Peanut Butter. I think you may have gained 3 new followers!

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    • That’s great! I have to think of some kid friendly recipes that you can make with your Boys. I have to keep my followers interested, you know. 🙂
      You’ll see that the peanut butter recipe is very easy to make and it might fascinate your Boys to see peanuts turn into butter. If you make this frozen yogurt, don’t shy away from adding heavy cream. It really will help smooth our the texture. If your Boys like cherries, they will love this treat. Good luck!

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  21. Oh, how I envy those tart cherries! I have never been to Michigan (except Detroit area a number of times on business). I think I need to remedy that next summer. Your ice cream … er frozen yogurt … looks absolutely delicious.

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    • Thank you, Michelle. There are plenty of farms on the West side of the state that sell cherries. I picked one near the Indiana/Michigan state line. It was just a little out of my way when I returned to Chicago from Zia’s. If you’re interested, here is their website, should you find yourself in the neighborhood. 😉
      http://www.lehmansorchard.com/

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  22. Bonjourno John! Cherry icecream/gelato/sorbet or really anything creamy and frozen with cherries in it and I am sold. It is such a pity that you had to eat 9 cups of it by yourself to properly test the concept. I know it is a rough and tough job but some one has to do it. I am more than happy to help you as a Quality assurance representative in your test kitchen. A very happy Birthday to all the Bartolini family members. I am going to have to revisit the Spumoni Bomba as it was truly the bomb! Chow, BAM

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    • Buona notte, BAM! Thank you for the compliments and for your understanding. Given your medical background, you surely can understand the rigors of testing. Thank you, too, for offering to share my burden. Too bad you don’t live closer. 🙂
      My family members read this blog and they’ll be pleased to see your birthday wishes. Thanks on their behalf.

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  23. The colour of your frozen treat in that first shot is stunning John! Gorgeous! I could almost taste the tartiness. I too love tart cherries but have only found them here in frozen form. You really touched my heart when I read that your mom sent you a message. You know, I really and truly believe that she did. I think everyone must be over the moon that you remember your loved ones and commemorate them! Well done John!

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    • Thank you so much, Lidia, for your thoughtful comment. It’s too bad Mom didn’t get the chance to see how well her recipes and our family stories have been received. She surely would have enjoyed this.
      I cannot find tart cherries frozen anywhere but briefly at the farmers market or if I go to Michigan for a few weeks after their season. I can get fresh for a couple weeks at the farmers market, too. Either way, frozen or fresh, they’re not cheap, though I save about 40% when I buy them directly from the farm. Now, though, I’ve a good supply in my freezer. I won’t be needing any more for some time! 🙂

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  24. This is my personal philosophy: “heavy cream — the more the merrier”. If I make this recipe next year, there is no way I would substitute heavy cream with bananas.

    Also, this has nothing to do with the fabulous frozen yogurt, but I will be trying my hand at risotto this weekend for the first time. Your recent recipe inspired me.

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    • I do love your personal philosophy. That way of thinking just might get you an “I’m an Honorary Bartolini” t-shirt. 🙂
      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I hope your first venture into risottos making is a good one. Just be sure to have extra stock, heated, on-hand. You’re in for a real treat — and a goodly amount of self-satisfaction, to boot! Good luck! 🙂

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  25. Think of all the antioxidants in those cherries you ate 🙂 mmm Tart Cherry or Sour Cherry is my favourite frozen yoghurt… and I’d agree better for the addition of the cream… I enjoy it as a treat, not a as health food 🙂 I have to also say Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt is a feast for the eyes, such a magnificent colour.

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    • Thank you, EllaDee. My neighbor eats cherries every day to help with her joint pain. That’s why I shared my cherry booty with her. For myself, I enjoy them in every possible way. I’ve even got a jug of them on the back porch fermenting. They’ll make a great cherry liqueur in a couple more months. 🙂

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  26. John I admire your persistence – 9 CUPS digested in the testing process! The things we do in the name of love and recipes. I say YES to heavy cream! It is full-to-the-brim with calcium and that is a good thing, surely.
    PS. The finished product looks spectacular, and I can’t wait to try it. We have a whiff of Spring in the air today. Farewell soups and stews.

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    • Thanks, Saskia. You’ve a whiff of Spring and we’ve a whiff of Autumn. It’s the way of the World…
      Yes, the testing process was rigorous but I did it all for science. You know something? You’re right. That calcium has to be good for something. I bet this is really a health food or it will be once I add a quart of heavy cream. Good idea, Saskia! 🙂

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  27. And with chocolate sauce, too? I’m in heaven! I did remember that August was birthday month, because I keep last August’s post on the front page of my iPad. LOL! I read it often…I have been enjoying last summer’s recipes! I’m ready to tackle this one now, too. I love Greek yogurt, and although I realize this is going to be different from my breakfast food, it expect it to have a little tang, even with the sugar! I think it’s lovely that you commemorate your mom’s birthday each August with ice cream! It’s really nice that we can share in those special memories, too. I’m thinking Labor Day weekend is a good time for frozen yogurt! I will go on a search for those sour cherries! Yum!

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    • Thank you so much, Debra. I love that you’ve a post of mine as your iPad’s front page — and it’s an ice cream post, at that. 🙂
      If you do find the cherries and make this, I would change the recipe a bit, as suggested by my commenters. Up the sugar a bit, say to 3/4 cup and cook the cherries until they reduce and form a nice syrup. Mine had too much liquid and it iced up in the machine. Be sure to add the cream, too. It’s your fail-safe and will ensure a better texture. Good luck and whether or not you make this, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

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    • We do not have Amarene cherries here. Ours are Montmorency, apparently a close-tasting relative. Your gelato sounds wonderful. I need to explore making gelato here at home. I think you’re right about the syrup. Had I added a bit more sugar and reduced the liquid a bit, I would have created a syrup and most likely a better texture in the finished product. Still, adding more cream wasn’t such a bad idea eiither. 🙂

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      • The gelato is from ices Italia; I always think of you whenever I use any of the recipes, especially as you inspired me to buy an ice cream maker. It will be warm enough soon to make the pesto sorbetto.

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        • I’m so glad, Elaine, to hear I’ve had such a positive influence. 🙂
          Thank you for returning the favor with that book title. I’ve found it on Amazon and it’s now in my Wish List. I’m hoping for a very warm Autumn. Oh, who am I kidding. Warm or cold, once I get that book, I’ll be making “ices” until Christmas, at least. 🙂

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  28. I think you should have posted photos of your before and after girth! Good on you for having so much perseverance. I love tart cherries and I’m sure I would love this ice cream no matter the fat content (I think that when enjoying ice cream, one should disregard calories, sugars and fats) xx

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    • Oh, Charlie, those are the last photos I’ll ever post here. 🙂
      You and many others are on the “full fat/heavy cream bandwagon”. Frankly, so am I. Except for this past month with all of my “testing,” ice cream is a treat, one that I do not have all that often. If you’re going to treat yourself, do it and do it right! 🙂

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  29. You certainly get extra credit points for not giving up & as I stare at those photos I’m trying to think of a way to justify this for breakfast. Fruit is good for breakfast right? You crack me up though – I can see you sitting there saying “ah well, guess I’ve just got to eat this”.
    I need to post about our past 2 weekends at the Feasts/Festivals in the North End of Boston but just couldn’t wait to tell you … we took a break from the walking for drinks & appetizers when I spotted caprese salad with BURRATA! Yes!!! I was so excited I told my daughter that I had to let you know that I’ve finally found it & yes, it was fabulous.

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    • Thanks, Diane. You hit closer to home than you may realize. The only good light here is in the morning in my back yard. (My front yard gets sun later in the afternoon but taking food photos on the front lawn causes my neighbors to stare, for some reason.) So, around 8 or 9:00 am, I was seated at my table in the yard with a quart of this yogurt, chocolate sauce, and my camera paraphernalia, trying to get a good capture before things melted — which meant I would “have” to eat the photo’s subject, clean the dish, and start again. Oh, the agony!
      So glad you found Burrata! Isn’t it incredible? That farmer in Puglia that “invented” this cheese should be sainted. This is indeed miraculous! 🙂

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      • My neighbors have many reasons for thinking me odd although I’ve never had more than a lemonade & snack stand out front but I can certainly see your dilemma. You had to do it.
        Wonder what that farmer’s name is – maybe I can call the North End Feast Association and see if they’ll parade him through the streets. It is marvelous & I just about died when my daughter told me she’d bought some a while ago but threw it out because when she opened it, she thought the texture was off & the cheese had gone bad! Niki, oh Niki – but now she knows.

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  30. I love that you ate 9 cups!! I just ordered some cherries from the farmers market and since it is 900 degrees here, I think I’ll be trying this recipe! The texture sounds perfect! Must pin!

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    • Thanks, Tanya, Where was this heat back in Late July and early August? Why now, once the poor kids are back in school? Go figure!
      If you do find make this, please read my reply to Debra a few comment further up from here. In it, I say what I’ll do differently next time, based upon suggestions from commenters. I think you’ll find it worthwhile. Good luck!

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  31. You have extra doses of persistence! As well as a keen appetite for a delicious frozen cherry “yogurt”. It is so funny how we associate frozen yogurt with low-fat when there is still loads of fat in it. I love “frozen cream”! I believe your mom did show you a sign of approval. 🙂

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    • Thank you. I feel Mom’s presence in my kitchen all of the time and especially when I’m trying one of her recipes for the first time. It’s like she wants to make sure I get it right. 🙂
      I now firmly believe that low/no fat yogurt won’t create a smooth texture without a lot more sugar — or high fructose corn syrup like the store-bought frozen yogurts. I think I’ll opt for a bit of heavy cream instead.

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  32. As soon as I saw the image of ice cream at the top I was PRAYING there would be recipes! ANSWERED!!! Your the BEST your Ice cream recipe will be put to the test this weekend I hope!

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    • That’s great. If you do, take a look at my reply to Debra about 10 or so comments above this one. In it I say what I would do differently next time, based upon suggestions from other commenters. I think you’ll like what you see and will enjoy the frozen yogurt more.
      Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

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  33. Just came across the quote by Thomas Keller: “”A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” John, this cherry yogurt froyo looks wonderful. I loved your suggestion that we should drain the liquid from the cherries. And you are so enthusiastic about any recipe. I find the texture quite appealing. Well done, John!! 🙂

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    • Thank you so much. That’s a great quote, isn’t it? To be honest, the texture was really quite bad the first time but the flavor won me over. I never would have tried to make it again if the flavor wasn’t so good. The tartness of the cherries and yogurt, combined with almond flavoring was just too good to be true. WHen you add the color to the equation, I really did have to keep trying. And I’m really glad I did! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Yes, your days will remain very warm and sunny much longer than ours will. A frozen treat, whether it’s yogurt, ice cream, or gelato, is always welcome. 🙂

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  34. Love that you bought 20 pounds of cherries (hey, why buy half a pound to try them out first or make a small test batch? …. that’s not Italian!) then I love that you gallantly ate 6 cups of the first version and STILL went on to develop the final (well, until next year) version of this gorgeous dessert! John….you’re the Cherry on the Cake (or Yogurt) 🙂

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    • Oh, Tanya, you know me so well. Of course I had to buy 20 pounds. I could almost hear my ancestors whispering in my ear to buy more. 🙂
      Yes, I had to eat all of the test batches but It’s a the price I’m willing to pay for the good of science. It will be some time, however, before testing resumes. Not only have I reached my limit for frozen yogurt but I have more of it still in my freezer! Science will have to wait.

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    • If you do, you may want to add a little more sugar and cook the cherries long enough to create more of a syrup than a sauce. I think mine were too runny, causing ice to form in the machine. A syrupy consistency, with the banana, may work better. Good luck!

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  35. August is a fantastic birthday month and cherries are the best. I’m so glad the cherries picked you so we can reap the rewards! Thanks John for such a nice recipe. This year I tried to buy some fresh sour pitted cherries at the farmers market and was amazed at the cost. Have to wait until next year when hopefully, the crop will be better.

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    • Thanks, Abbe. As close as we are to Michigan’s orchards, the sour cherries are expensive here, too. I buy them from a farm at about 60% of the cost of those for sale at the farmers market. The problem is that the orchard is 2 hours away. When you factor in the gas and tolls, I’m not saving anything at all. That’s why stopping on the way home from Zia’s works fine. And that’s also why i bought so many. I know I won’t be coming back that way for a while. 🙂

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  36. First of all, I want to be your neighbours (in the hopes of maybe you sharing 9 cups of ice cream as well as the sour cherries) I admire your dedication to get a recipe right even if it means such sacrifice on your part!
    It was well worth it I see, looks gorgeous, and I have no problem with cream….at all.

    Nazneen

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    • Thanks, Nazneen. You really understand the sacrifices I made for this recipe and it is so nice of you to wish you could shoulder some of this burden with me. 😉 Honestly, I think that cooking the cherries in a bit more sugar until a syrup is formed will help the texture a great deal. Of course, a bit more cream certainly won’t hurt, either. 🙂

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  37. I’ve been dreaming of making cherry ice cream or frozen yogurt since I saw the teaser for this post, John. I saw some rather expensive cherries in the store yesterday and thought about it again. But now, this is on my short list for the weekend and I think I will stop by the farmer’s market for the cherries. I don’t think we get tart ones here, but I’m going for it. Maybe with a little amaretto. It’s HOT here right now, the first time in August, and we’ll have a mercifully quiet weekend with the workers gone, so this looks like the ticket for the holiday! Today is my mom’s birthday and I’d like to wish all of your August birthdays a very happy, happy, too!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. Tart cherries are more expensive than the other, sweeter varieties but they’re much better in pies, muffins, and the like. I hope you can find them. If you do, check out my reply to Debra above. In it I tell her about changes I’ll make to my next batch, based upon suggestions from other commenters. As I said in the post, my cherries had too much liquid but will be better next time. I hope your Mom’s birthday was a good one and I’m sure my family and friends will appreciate your birthday will wishes. Most are faithful readers of the blog. 🙂

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      • Alas, I can’t find cherries here right now, frozen or otherwise, but next time I do I will make this, and thanks for the tip, I will reread comments before I attempt it! Very disappointed not to have some this weekend while it’s nice and toasty here, though. Happy Labor Day, John!

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        • Happy Labor Day, Betsy. Sorry you cam up empty handed but I would have been surprised had you found some. There are none to be found here and we’re pretty close to the sour cherry motherland. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck next year. I know I’m already planning to go back to “my” cherry farmer. 🙂

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  38. John you can’t tempt a girl over here at work lol. I am so hungry for some frozen yogurt right now. I think I will stop at TCBY on the corner :). Even though I know yours is way better 🙂

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  39. Oh John,
    The timing of this post is almost cruel, for me. It’s 85 degrees in our cottage (the air just went on) and there is none of THIS in our freezer!! I love frozen cherry dessert of any kind and this has really got me wishing I had nine cups of this, to start with. Great post. Happy Labor Day to you!!

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    • Thank you so much. I hope your cottage is on or near a lake. WIth no frozen treats on hand, a nice dip in a lake is a great way to cool off. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for taking the time to post a comment.

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  40. I’m not sure I have the words for how delicious this looks! I always enjoy your ice cream posts, and every time I read one, I wonder why I never get that ice cream make down from the top shelf of the cupboard. Maybe because it’s on the top shelf? Maybe because I have to have the foresight to freeze the container ahead of time? At any rate, I so enjoy how you pay tribute to your Mother every August with ice cream recipes. And sorry, but I can’t think of this one as anything but an ice cream recipe (with yogourt) 😊

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    • Thanks, Mar, I know what you mean about keeping the ice cream machine up, out of sight. I postpone pulling mine down for as long as I can, for I know once it’s down, it will be running almost non-stop. Luckily, much of it is given away but, even so, not all of it leaves here. You’re right, too, about this “frozen yogurt” recipe. I started with the best of intentions but that first batch was not very good at all. Just like with bacon, everything’s better with heavy cream. Next time around, I just may skip the yogurt altogether. 🙂

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  41. Hey there John. I guess I’m new enough to your blog not to know about the ice cream tradition, but I think it’s a wonderful way to commemorate your mother’s birthday. Glad that this cherry frozen yoghurt worked out in the end, despite the ‘sorbet’ consistency at first! How annoying! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a fresh sour/tart cherry. We can get bags of dried ones in gourmet stores here in Perth but we only get imported American black cherries in the stores (I guess the Australian climate doesn’t suit them). I love the idea of this ice cream though. It sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing your tradition with us. I’m sure your mother would’ve been very happy to eat a bowl of this beautiful frozen yoghurt (I love the idea of the almond extract. I’m imagining this with Amaretto, mmm!)

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    • Hi, Laura, and thanks for leaving such a nice comment. From what I’ve read, the US is only responsible for about 10% of the world’s sour cherries — and Michigan grows 70 to 75% of that. I doubt if your sour cherries, dried or otherwise, would come from here. Back cherries, though, are grown on the West Coast, in Washington, primarily, and in much greater numbers. They’ve much more to export. Mom really enjoyed ice cream and this is probably the best way to commemorate her birthday. If she were here, she’d love it! 🙂

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  42. What a coincidence? We just celebrated my son’s 13th birthday yesterday. Ain’t he glad that he finally turned 13, the magic age? I am glad to learn he shares the birthday month with your grandma, mom, aunt, uncle, nephews, friends…August must be a magic month . Your freezer must be a goldmine, John, I have been secretly keeping track of the things you stash away and somehow I never hear that they were used except for the tart cherries. 6 cups and 3 cups, John, that was a lot. Hope you ate it gradually, Sometimes I wish I were your neighbour, perhaps you’d have swung some three cups my way. Thanks so much for sharing the final recipe, after so much determination to get it right. I would like to try the final one for sure. I have bookmarked it. I wish you a fantastic week and as always, my best wishes to Max. Did he taste the frozen yogurt too? Best regards, John!

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    • Another August birthday? That’s’ great, Liz. Belated birthday wishes to the “teenager”! I know he likes the sound of that. The former owners of my home left a small freezer in the basement. It is worth its weight in gold. If I see a sale on something, I can buy it and worry about using it later. As for this recipe, look for my reply to Debra, about 20+ commenters above. In it I explain what I’ll change next time and why. I think you’ll like that version better still. I know I will. 🙂
      Thanks, as always, for the Max wishes. He doesn’t get frozen desserts but he does like ice cubes. Something I fooled him into thinking are treats when he was a puppy. Now, on those stifling days of Summer, I give him ice cubes to cool him off. Have a great week, Liz, and thanks for the visit and comment. 🙂

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  43. 20 pounds of pitted cherries, CJ? Sounds like heaven to me. I wonder if after you cooked the cherries, you could remove them, but leave the liquid in the pot and cook it slowly to reduce the liquid while intensifying (or at least preserving) the cherry flavor. Not that I’ve every made frozen yogurt or gelato… I made ice cream many, many years ago, but don’t remember much other than hand-cranking the machine and eating the results.

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    • I think you’re right, Kathleen, and a few other commenters agree. Reduce the cherry juice and make a syrup. Of course, I could always add more heavy cream, too. 🙂 How I remember those hand cranked machines. What fun! It was a right of passage when we were allowed to “man the crank” and not just sit on the sidelines asking, “Is it ready yet” Thank you for that bit of nostalgia. Have a great week, Kathleen.

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  44. The chocolate on top turns this into a tart chocolate covered cherry. Love it! What a fabulous ice cream and great birthday celebration for all of your friends and family.

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    • Thanks, Susan. In excess is right! I guess we can be thankful there’s an ocean between us. If we shopped at the same market, it’s inevitable that one day we’d fight over the last plum or cantaloupe or whatever. 🙂

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  45. Frozen tart cherry anything sounds divine right about now John. It’s been in the 100’s for several days now. I do love your suggestion of almond with the cherries and you are so right about almond extract overpowering just about anything. Small amounts of the stuff is always a good idea. I can’t believe you ate through all that frozen cherry “sorbet”. You are quite the trooper.

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    • Thanks, Geni. Although Summer returned here, too, except for one day, our temps were not nearly as high as yours. I hope things have cooled off a bit for you by now. Yes, I ate all of the sorbet/yogurt/ice cream. I did it all for science. 🙂

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  46. I missed this post last week – sorry, it’s been hectic – but I so enjoyed it when I finally got to read it. I have to say John, the finished product sounds delicious, but the thought of you eating your way through nine cups of experimental cherry sorbet while trying to get the texture right made me laugh out loud. You really ARE a kindred spirit. Move over here, and maybe we could trade our kitchen mistakes with each other – divide and conquer, as it were. 🙂

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    • No need to apologize, Celia. Come for a visit when you have time. I’m not going anywhere and you’ve got much on your plate. I can only imagine living near you. I’d be sitting in your kitchen just praying that you make a mistake tempering the chocolate. And what if this the loaf of ciabatta doesn’t look quite right? On the plus side, you’d have another mouth to feed tromboncino. 🙂

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  47. Pingback: The Spiralizer Chronicles, Chapter 2: Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Pancetta, Clams and Shrimp | from the Bartolini kitchens

    • Yes, and I am so jealous! Our winters seem to last so long but our summers pass in the blink of an eye. That’s OK. There’s still plenty of time before I have to get out the parka and gloves. 🙂

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