1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar — divided
2 cups Bing cherries — stemmed, pitted, and halved
6 ounces cream cheese — at room temperature
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine water, 3/4 cup sugar, and cherries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; let the cherries steep for 30 minutes. Drain the cherries, discarding the syrup. Transfer the cherries to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

In a food processor, process cream cheese until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the milk, cream and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar, until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the cream cheese; process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining milk mixture and process for another 30 seconds. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add vanilla; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.