Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherry Compote & Pecan Crunch

I get a bit nostalgic when the fresh Michigan cherries start popping up at the markets in Ohio.  As a child I spent quite a few summers at my grandparent’s cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan.  Traverse City hosts the National Cherry Festival in July, and although it’s become more of a tourist attraction with rides and vendors, the local shops and restaurants always celebrate the season by featuring fresh cherries in their dishes.  And the dark chocolate covered cherries from Cherry Republic?  Quite possibly my favorite snack ever, I’m so lucky they do mail order!!

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherry Compote & Pecan Crunch ~ Pearls + Girls

We haven’t been up to the cottage in a few years, and I’m longing to eat some fresh Michigan cherries right off the tree.  I think this recipe will fulfill my cherry fetish for the time being!  A fresh, cherry compote ladled over tangy, buttermilk ice cream and topped off with sweet, crunchy candied pecans.  It doesn’t get much more seasonal than this in the Midwest.  Enjoy! 🙂

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherry Compote & Pecan Crunch

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Raspberries, blueberries or blackberries could be substituted in any combination for the cherries. You could also substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans.


    Buttermilk Ice Cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • Cherry Compote
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • Candied Pecan Crunch
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


    Make Buttermilk Ice Cream
  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and press a medium bowl into the ice to create an ice bath for your ice cream base. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine buttermilk and sugar.
  3. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract.
  5. Pour ice cream base into the medium bowl and whisk occasionally until it cools to room temperature, about 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  7. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow the instructions for the machine.
  8. Transfer ice cream to a container. It will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream. For firmer ice cream, cover and freeze overnight.
  9. Make Cherry Compote
  10. In a small saucepan over medium high heat add the cherries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Smash the cherries with a fork to release the juices.
  11. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  12. Reduce the sauce for 3 - 5 minutes.
  13. If your compote reduces too much, add a TBSP of water and stir to combine.
  14. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly.
  15. Make Candied Pecan Crunch
  16. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  17. Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
  18. Beat water and egg white together with a fork until frothy.
  19. Coat nuts in egg mixture.
  20. Add sugar mixture to nuts. Mix well.
  21. Spread on large greased cookie sheet.
  22. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  23. Cool to room temperature.
  24. Once cool, chop roughly.