Cherries Jubilee

11 07 2009


So the first thing you’ll notice is that this dish is on fire.  Literally.  With fire comes alcohol.  So if you are against cooking with alcohol, this dish will definitely need to be altered for you.  We’ll discuss that later.  First, let’s talk about how incredible cherries are.


I was on a mission to make a banana pudding dessert, but when I got to the grocery store, I quickly changed plans when I saw these red babies.  Any dessert that includes bing cherries will be a favorite of mine.  So it was a no-brainer to combine flambed cherries and vanilla ice cream.


This is a fairly simple dessert.  Cherries, cornstarch, cherry extract, nutmeg, and brandy.  For me, I decided to replace the cherry extract and water with cherry-flavored vodka.  Other recipes use Kirshwasser (a cherry brandy from Germany) but I actually really like the flavor of the cherry vodka in this dish.  Most of the alcohol will cook off, but not all.  So if you don’t want to cook with alcohol, just make this with cherry extract and water, and skip the flambe part.  It will still taste delicious!


One of the main tools in this dessert is a cherry pitter.  This will run you about $10 and unless you want to slice each cherry in half and pit it yourself, it’s a lifesaver.  Once the cherries are pitted, putting this dish together is easy.

Cherries Jubilee

Serves 6


1 lb bing cherries

1/2 c cherry vodka or water

1 T cornstarch

1/4 c white sugar

1 t cherry extract (if not using cherry vodka)

1/4 c brandy

1 t nutmeg


  1. Rinse, stem, and pit cherries.
  2. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and vodka or water in a wide saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking until thickened. Stir in the cherries, return to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the cherries from the heat, and stir in the cherry extract. Pour in the brandy, and ignite with a long lighter. Gently shake the pan until the blue flame has extinguished itself. Spoon the cherries over the bowls of ice cream.