If you’re lucky enough be able to celebrate Presidents’ Day at home today, why not take a cue from George Washington himself and create a stunning cherry dessert. The elder Washington probably wouldn't have been upset about his beloved tree at all if George had presented him with such a lovely (and delicious) offering. It's no lie that the following recipe will become a favorite.
This version of the classic dessert, adds the flavor of orange to the cherries. Orange zest and Grand Marnier, an orange flavored brandy, give this dessert subtle citrus notes. While Kirsch, a cherry flavored brandy, accentuates the cherry flavor.
Since fresh cherries are not available right now, the canned variety will work very well for this quick dessert.
When flambéing, be extremely careful. Until you are comfortable with it, remove the pan from the heat and then use a long lighter to ignite the alcohol. Eventually, once you have done it a few times, you can graduate to tilting the pan ever so slightly so that the flame touches the mixture and ignites it that way.
Find canned cherries at Reasor’s and other local grocery stores.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 (15-ounce) can dark sweet cherries, drained, juice reserved
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 3 tablespoons Kirsch
- Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
In a large skillet, Melt butter over medium heat; add brown sugar. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth.
Add ¼ cup reserved cherry juice and cinnamon. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half, about 1-2 minutes.
Add cherries, vanilla and orange zest. Bring mixture to a boil; stir in Kirsch; add Grand Marnier. Use a long lighter to ignite mixture. Wait for flames to subside.
Place ice cream into individual bowls. Divide mixture among bowls.
Makes 4-6 servings