Italian cuisine inspires George Washington’s Cherry Tree

Legend says a young George Washington could not “tell a lie” when asked if he cut down a cherry tree. What legend doesn’t say is why. Had he the chance to taste the delicious cherry ice cream dessert designed by Tri-C Culinary Arts student Humberto Sanchez for this year’s Pierre’s Ice Cream Challenge, he may have thought twice.

Taking its name after the oft-told legend, Sanchez’s George Washington’s Cherry Tree is a delicious tribute that features a cannoli shell filled with Pierre’s Black Cherries & Chocolate Chunks, garnished with sprinkles and adorned with fresh cherries on the stem. The dessert earned second place overall.

“Whenever I see cherry ice cream, I think of George Washington’s cherry tree story, because – a long time ago – I was at a place had homemade ice cream of that flavor and they called it George Washington cherry ice cream,” Sanchez said.

Having decided on the flavor he wanted for his recipe, he needed inspiration for the “tree”. The idea came while watching TV.

“I was watching a documentary about an Italian chef who was very daring about plating Italian cuisine,” Sanchez, who enjoys creating Italian cuisine, said. “I’m looking over his creations and something reminded me of a cannoli and thought, that’s it!”

The key to filling the cannolis is setting the ice cream aside on the counter for a few minutes just until it softens. Spoon it into a pastry bag and simply squeeze it into your cannoli shell. A plastic storage bag with a corner cut off also works if you don’t have a pastry bag.

Sanchez, who is in his first semester, hopes to work in baking after graduation.

George Washington’s Cherry Tree

Pierre’s Ice Cream Challenge – October 2016

Submitted by: Humberto Sanchez

Cuyahoga Community College

Hospitality Management Program – Culinary Arts

Yield:     6 servings (one regular cannoli or 2 mini cannolis per serving)


1 pint     Pierre’s Black Cherries & Chocolate Chunks Ice Cream

6              cannoli shells, regular size (or 12 mini cannoli shells)

½ cup    chocolate sprinkles

5-6          fresh cherries, stem on (if in season), or Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Mint leaves, for garnish

Chocolate sprinkles, for garnish


  1. Soften ice cream on the counter for several minutes.
  2. Place chocolate sprinkles on a small bowl.
  3. Fill pastry bag with softened ice cream. Work in small batches to prevent ice cream from melting while keeping the unused ice cream in the freezer to maintain consistency.
  4. Holding the cannoli shell, firmly yet gently fill the shell with the softened ice cream through both ends. Ensure some of the ice cream sticks out of the shell so that the chocolate sprinkles have a surface to stick to.
  5. Dip the ends of the cannoli into the chocolate sprinkles, shake to remove excess, and immediately place the cannoli on a tray inside the freezer. Proceed with the next one.
  6. On a dessert plate, place one regular cannoli, or artfully arrange two or three small cannolis. Arrange several mint leaves and sprinkle some chocolate on top and around. Top off with a cherry.

Note: Works best if it is assembled close to serving time so that ice cream hardens a little and the shells do not become too frozen.

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