Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cherries jubilee

The array of summers fruits in season makes me so happy! I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with cherries. They cook so well. The only downside to cherries is the need for a cherry pitter. It can also be used for olives. I like kitchen gadgets so I don't mind having a utensil that I pull out for only a short time every summer. I have learned to put it to good use on olives too.

I've tried two variations of cherries jubilee, a sauce of cooked, sweetened cherries set alight with brandy and poured over ice cream. The recipe couldn't be simpler. For the variation, I substituted red wine for the water. It makes the sauce even richer and more elegant. I also used some vanilla sugar that I had on hand. Whenever I use vanilla beans, I save the pods and put in a glass jar with sugar. It imparts a delicate vanilla flavor to the sugar. Given how expensive vanilla beans are, I like to get the most out of them.

2lb sweet cherries, pitted ans stems removed
1 c. water or red wine for the variation
1/2 sugar or more according to your taste
1/4 c. brandy

Cook the cherries in the water over medium low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the sugar. Allow to cool to warm. Put ice cream in the bowls. Pour brandy over cherries and set alight with a match or a grill lighter. Once the alcohol burns off, pour the sauce over the ice cream.

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