Throwback to Cherries Jubilee

Cherries jubilee … this dessert seems so old school! It was popular in the 50’s and 60’s, gracing fancy restaurant menus. These days this dessert seems pretty forgotten. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this option on a restaurant dessert menu, and my mom sure never made it! I had some very ripe cherries on their last leg in the fridge, and for some reason this dessert popped into mind (maybe I’ve been watching too much Mad Men, or the word jubilee is stuck in my head from the recent Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration). Regardless, I decided to give it a try!

Cherries jubilee is a cooked cherry/liqueur sauce that is flambeed at the end. It is usually served warm over vanilla ice cream.

The sauce by itself!

Time to dig in before the ice cream melts


1/8 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon of meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)

1/2 pound sweet Bing cherries (pitted)

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange or lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 cup brandy

vanilla ice cream

Combine sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in water and lemon juice. Whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture is thick and begins boiling. Add cherries and zest, then simmer for 10 -12 minutes. Warm the brandy in the microwave (about 10 seconds). Remove the cherries from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract and brandy. Ignite the mixture with a long lighter, shake gently until the blue flame burns out.
Let the mixture cool slightly, then pour the warm cherries over vanilla ice cream!

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