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RECIPE: Cherries Jubilee

Cherries Jubilee served in contemporary
fashion. Photo courtesy Victoria Glavin | Tiny New York Kitchen. Check out her recipe, too.

September 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day. Cherries Jubilee is an easy flambéed dessert that is presented with much fanfare. A sauce is made of cooked, pitted cherries and cherry liqueur (Kirschwasser—brandy can be substituted), which is flambéed in a chafing dish and ladled over a dish of vanilla ice cream at the table. It’s great entertainment for guests, many of whom have never had flambéed food.

You can elaborate on the dish by serving the flaming sauce over an ice cream and angel food cake, pound cake or sponge cake, or over custard or puddings. (Cherries and chocolate are a delicious combination.)

Famed chef Auguste Escoffier created the dish for Queen Victoria, for either her Golden Jubilee celebration (in 1887, her 50th anniversary as queen) or her Diamond Jubilee (1897)—hence the name, Cherries Jubilee. You can “jubilee” other any cooked fruit using any 80-proof spirit.

Make this recipe for Cherries Jubilee. It’s an impressive yet easy to make dessert. When you serve it to guests, tell them the Escoffier/Queen Victoria story.



  • 1 can (16 ounces) pitted bing cherries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Kirschwasser or brandy
  • Premium vanilla ice cream
  • Optional garnish: 1/2 cup slivered almonds


1. DRAIN. Drain cherries, reserving the juice.

2. MIX. Combine sugar and cornstarch; mix in the juice, a little at a time.

3. WARM. Warm the Kirschwasser or brandy, in a sauce pan on the stove or in the microwave in a flame-proof dish.

5. IGNITE. Ignite with a long kitchen match. Scoop a serving in a ladle; let flame burn out and ladle over ice cream.

Serves 6.
TIP #1: To keep the ice cream from melting, it helps to pre-scoop the balls and let keep them in the coldest area of the freezer. Bring the ice cream and the sauce to the table, ready to flame and pour immediately.

TIP #2: You can make your Cherries Jubilee even easier with a jar of Chukar Cherries’ Cherry Jubilee topping.

You may not be surprised. Check out our Cherry Facts.

How many types of sweet and tart cherries can you name?


Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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