Fresh Cherries Jubilee

By • June 25, 2010 • 6 Comments

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Author Notes: I made Cherries Jubilee to celebrate my son's birthday. With the extended family surrounding the table to sing "Happy Birthday", a bowl of pound cake with ice cream and flaming Cherries Jubilee was as dramatic and festive as any iced layer cake with candles. As I explained to everyone before we dimmed the lights and ignited the liquor, I have very fond memories of my sister's 21st birthday (eons ago) at a lovely beach-side restaurant where Cherries Jubilee was made and flambeed at the table. Originally made to honor the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign, it is truly a celebratory dessert. It will make anyone feel special. - WaverlyWaverly

Food52 Review: Testing Cherries Jubilee was a wholly satisfying experience. Unfortunately, there were no fresh cherries to be found in Minnesota this time of year, so a bag of frozen cherries had to stand in. They were plumply red and gave off a nice amount of juice to work with. The butter and lemon smoothed and picked up the sauce beautifully. On to the dramatic flourish of brandy and a match! Voila! I felt quite the magician. The warm, plump, drunk cherries over melting ice cream on a bed of pound cake is comforting and familiar. And yet, the old fashionedness of this dessert doesn't seem so very old. It is going to be my new treat for many evenings of entertaining to come. After testing according to the recipe, I noodled a bit and used Amaretto di Saronno for the flambé and made a pound cake with almond flavoring. Divine! When summer arrives, I will certainly make the fresh cherries version. - Stirnourish
Stirnourish

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound fresh ripe cherries, rinsed, stemmed, and pitted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup Kirsh, Grande Marnier, or Brandy
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 pound cake, cut into slices
  1. MIX CHERRIES AND SUGAR: In a medium skillet, combine cherries with as much cherry juice as you can save, and sugar. Over MEDIUM heat, stir until sugar dissolves, the cherries become soft, and the liquid is reduced, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. ADD BUTTER AND LEMON: Add the butter and stir until it is melted and combined. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir.
  3. FLAMBE: Add the kirsh and then very carefully light a long-stemmed match and hold it to the sauce to ignite the alcohol vapors. (This part is best done with the lights dimmed and your diners watching).
  4. SERVE: Place one slice of pound cake in a serving bowl. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Spoon the warm Cherries Jubilee over the ice cream. Be very careful with the flames.
Jump to Comments (6)

Tags: Birthday Party, celebration, Entrees, serves a crowd

Comments (6) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago Stirnourish

I tested today and can happily report that it ws a wholly satisfying experience. Unfortunately, there were no fresh cherries to be found in Minnesota this time of year. So, a frozen bag of cherries had to do the trick. They were plumply red and gave off a nice amount of juice to work with. The butter and lemon smoothed and piqued up the sauce beautifully. On to the dramatic flourish of brandy and a match! Voila! I felt quite the magician. And, the loveliest part of it all is that my husband doesn't like cherries, so I was able to greedily lap up my serving in glorious privacy. The warm, plump, drunk cherries over melting ice cream on a bed of pound cake is comforting and familiar. And yet, the old fashionedness of this dessert doesn't seem so very old. It is going to be my new treat for many evenings of entertaining to come.

After testing according to the recipe, I noodled a bit and used Amaretto di Saronno for the flambé and made a pound cake with almond flavoring. Divine! The combination of cherries and amaretto and almond was luxurious.

When summer arrives, I will certainly try the fresh cherries version.

Thanks for the test opportunity!

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over 3 years ago Waverly

I am delighted that you enjoyed the cherries jubilee. I would not hesitate to use dozen cherries when fresh are unavailable. Your idea of using amaretto in the cherry sauce and almond extract in the cake sounds divine. Thanks for your review!

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over 3 years ago Waverly

That is "frozen" not "dozen" - spell check .....

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Waverly, I love your story! Maybe I'll make this for my next anniversary, and serve it to the tune of Star Wars. ;)

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over 4 years ago Waverly

That is a great story. Cherries Jubilee is definitely an attention-getter! In the above story, it was my brother who ordered the flaming dessert in honor of my sister's birthday. She was completely horrified, but she loved the dessert.

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I love this! I remember so clearly the first time I had Cherries Jubilee. I was about 14 and my best friend and I were visiting her aunt and grandmother for a week in East Hampton on Long Island. The last night we were there, my friend's parents arrived and we all went to dinner at a very hotsy-totsy country club. I remember being nervous because I had never eaten in such a fancy place in my life. I tried to make sure I was doing things it seemed others were doing so I wouldn't be noticed, in the hopes my nervousness wouldn't be noticed. But I ordered Cherries Jubilee for dessert thinking it was some kind of cherry pie without the crust or something. I was so horrified when a team of people showed up at the table, set up a stove and flambeed away with the whole dining room watching. I just about died. But then I tasted it and it was the best dessert I had ever had, and worth getting all the unwanted attention. I just might have to make this for my husband. Thanks!