Making Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherry Ice Cream with Bourbon (video + recipe)

Salt & Straw artisanal ice cream

Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw, a Portland, Oregon hand-crafted ice cream shop has two reasons to celebrate. Not only did they open their first store a year-ago, outgrowing their city food cart where they began, their business has been so brisk, they have opened up a second store. In this episode, Malek demonstrates how to make one of his popular ice cream flavors.

Malek uses a dairy in Eugene, Oregon for his milk products, and likewise tries to source his other ingredients as locally as possible. He strives for a high milk fat content, 17% , and seeks to churn a low amount of air into his ice cream for increased density, and richer mouth feel. The ice cream itself provides a neutral taste with “great texture and sweetness”, he says.

The traditional boundaries that we may associate with ice cream becomes entirely obliterated by Malek’s unique quest to blend together different flavors from a variety of natural sources. For Malek, coming up with new flavor pairings is “a huge collaboration with the entire city of Portland.” He’s constantly talking to new people, his vendors, chocolatiers, chefs, distilleries, to come up with fresh ideas.

With that obsession and willingness to explore new terrains, it’s easy to see how Tyler Malek could come up with an ice cream flavor of bone-marrow, smoked cherries, and bourbon.

A toast to that vision.

Cream of Bone Marrow with Smoked Cherries Ice Cream Recipe

recipe courtesy of Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw (from the video)

Ice Cream Base

  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • dash of salt
  • 1 pound marrow bones (can be found at most butcher shops and grocery meat counters)


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the marrow bones for 5 minutes.
  2. Pull the bones from the hot water and set aside to cool.
  3. Mix together the sugar and salt with the xanthan gum.
  4. Pour the cream and milk in a pot and whisk in the sugar/xanthan mixture.
  5. Heat the cream stirring constantly until it thickens to a nappe (you can use a spoon to test this by dipping in the spoon and wiping your finger down the back of the spoon. If the cream holds onto the spoon and your finger mark is distinct, you have reached the perfect texture.)
  6. Back to your cooled marrow bones. Spoon the marrow out of your bones and render the marrow over low heat on a skillet.
  7. Strain the, now liquid, marrow into a separate bowl.
  8. Slowly pour the liquid marrow into the cream, whisking hard to emulsify the two fats together. Whisk until the marrow is completely homogenized with the cream.
  9. Cool the ice cream base for at least 24 hours.

Smoked Cherries 

  • 1 cup fresh Bing cherries (or use canned Bing cherries if fresh are not available)
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Lasang Souchong Tea
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • Dash of salt


  1. If using fresh cherries, place the cherries on the top shelf of a smoker and smoke over hickory chips for 2 hours. Add 1/4 cup of water to the juices that come out of the cherries and set aside.
  2. If using canned cherries, place your bourbon in the smoker in a shallow bowl and smoke over hickory chips for 2 hours.
  3. Combine the cherry juice (if cherries are canned, use the juices that they are packaged in), tea, salt, and bourbon in a pot and bring to a quick boil. Removed from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea out of the juice and pour the juice over the cherries.
    Store the cherries in an airtight container and set aside for at least 24 hours.

Churning the Ice Cream

  • 1 batch Bone Marrow Ice Cream base
  • 1 batch Bourbon Smoked Cherries


  1. Strain the juice from the cherries and cook over a medium heat until it is reduced by half.
  2. Add the cherry juice reduction to the ice cream base.
  3. Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
  4. Chop the cherries and press out any remaining juice so that they are as dry as possible before adding to the ice cream.
  5. Once the ice cream has frozen to a soft serve consistency in the machine, toss in the chopped cherries and let spin for 30 second.
  6. Scrape out the ice cream from the maker into airtight, freezable containers.
  7. Flip the container upside down so that the ice cream freezes to the top of the container.
    Store the ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer for 12 hours to freeze.

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