Saint Gregory the Great and Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Homemade Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream is the perfect thing for the feast of Saint Gregory. He sure did love Cherries.


Today the church celebrates the feast of Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church.

Saint Gregory was born in Rome around 540. His father was a wealthy Senator.

After the death of his father he built six monasteries in Sicily. He founded the seventh in his own home, where it became the Benedictine Monastery of Saint Andrew. At age 35 he assumed the monastic habit in 575.

After the death of Pope Peaguis II,  Saint Gregory at the age of 50 was chosen Pope.  He is known to compose a great number of works, none known more than the Liturgy of the Mass. Our Liturgy still contains several of his most beautiful prayers.

He died March 12, 604 . His body lies at Saint Peters in Rome. Immediately after his death, Saint Gregory was canonized by popular acclaim.

The story of Saint Gregory and his love of cherries is more like a legend.

While St. Gregory was celebrating St Marks feast day (April 25th), he had a craving for cherries. Unfortunately none of the cherry trees in his area were bearing fruit.  The servants and gardeners were at a loss.

Luckily, one gardener was wandering the gardens and was visited by St Mark.  The Saint heard of his plight and blessed the tree and immediately fruit appeared.

Needless to say the Pope enjoyed the cherries to his hearts content and from then on, every year enjoyed cherries on St Marks feast day.

We now can enjoy cherries on his Feast day. So on this hot September day I am enjoying cherries in a cold creamy ice cream.  In honor of Saint Gregory the Great.


Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup white sugar

1 vanilla bean split and pods removed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup Bing cherries pitted and chopped fine

4 ounces chocolate chips


In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine cream salt, sugar and vanilla bean and pods. Cook until sugar is dissolved and bubbles form at the edge of the pan. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolks and add about a ladle full of hot cream to the yolks. Stir to combine and temper the eggs. Add the eggs to the milk mixture and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and a finger swiped through coating should leave a clean line. Strain into an air tight container and add the vanilla extract. Chill overnight.

The next day, churn ice cream according to manufactures instruction. In the last few minutes of churning add cherries and chocolate chips. Freeze for at least three hours before serving.

Peace be with you,