This delightful dish dates back to the 1800s. The dish was created by Chef Auguste Escoffier in honour of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration.
Cherries was Queen Victoria’s favourite fruit so it was a good choice for dessert. The original version was not served over ice cream, but it is really far too sweet on its own. It is very simple to make and a crowd-pleaser. Just make sure you serve it immediately.
Spectacular Cherries Jubilee
- 4 cups quality vanilla ice cream or frozen yoghurt
- 1 lb. fresh cherries
- 1/2 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
- 1 large lemon
- 1/3 cup Kirsch (or brandy)
- To help keep the ice cream from melting too quickly: scoop ice cream into 4 decorative dishes and keep in the freezer in advance.
- Wash and pit the cherries. If you don't have a pitter, you can improvise. Place the cherry, stem side down on top of an empty glass soda bottle. Use a chopstick to force the pit through into the bottle.
- Place the cherries and sugar in a large skillet. Peel 2 large strips of zest from the lemon, add to the skillet, and then squeeze the lemon into the the skillet.
- Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cover and raise the heat and cook for another five minutes to release the juices from the cherries.
- To flambe, heat the Kirsch in a small pot on the stove. It will only take a couple of minutes. Ignite with a long match and carefully pour over the cherries, swirling until the flames subside.
- Bring our the serving dishes and spoon the cherries and syrup over top the ice cream.
- Serve immediately as the ice cream will melt.