Summer cherries are coming, and when my guys aren’t eating them fresh with lots of juicy red evidence spread across their hands and faces, we’re planning for our favorite cherry desserts like this cherries jubilee. As soon as they spy cherries on the counter, my boys become cherry zombies, eating them one after the other, so I have to ration the cherries to make sure we have enough for another time.
Cherries jubilee is an easy old-fashioned dessert, one of Michael’s favorites that he requests every summer. I make the cherries outdoors on our grill side burner, and take it directly to the picnic table where my guys are at the ready with bowls of ice cream and spoons. And then all I hear is “mmmm” and the scraping of spoons in bowls.
If you’ve never flambéed anything, this is a good opportunity to learn. The flame burns off the alcohol while leaving the flavor from the Grand Marnier. The trick is to light the liqueur as soon as it is in the pan, so have the Grand Marnier measured and a match ready to go. Be sure to take some safety precautions; i.e., turn off the burner first, don’t lean over the pan, pour the alcohol from a measuring cup to prevent the flame from rushing back up to the bottle and exploding, and light the alcohol near the edge of the pan using a long match.
- nonstick sauté pan
- cherry pitter
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 pound fresh sweet ripe cherries (pitted)
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 2 ounces Grand Marnier
- vanilla ice cream
- Melt the butter in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir in with the butter. Cook until the sugar melts and combines with the butter and the syrup, and turns a light golden color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cherries and their juices. Sauté just until they soften and release the juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
- Turn off the burner. Light a long kitchen or fireplace match, then drizzle in the Grand Marnier. Hold the match carefully near the edge of the pan to ignite the liqueur, then allow it to burn off. Spoon the flambéed cherries over scoops of ice cream and serve immediately.