Cherries Jubilee

Serves 4
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This theatrical dish was created by Auguste Escoffier for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Our home grown Kentish cherries are in season now, but you can get lots of other plump juicy ones from other parts of the world. Serve simply with vanilla ice cream.

This theatrical dish was created by Auguste Escoffier for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Our home grown Kentish cherries are in season now, but you can get lots of other plump juicy ones from other parts of the world. Serve simply with vanilla ice cream.

500g sweet red cherries, stoned
150g caster sugar
300ml water
A few strips of lemon peel
1tbsp of arrowroot or cornflour
4-5tbsp cherry brandy or kirsch

Put the water, sugar and lemon peel into a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the cherries and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and continue to simmer and reduce the syrup to its original level.

Dilute the cornflour with a little water, stir into the simmering syrup and simmer gently for a couple of minutes. Return the cherries to the syrup and keep them warm.

Chill some serving bowls in the fridge or freezer. When you're ready to serve, scoop the ice cream into the iced bowls. Make sure everyone's watching. Then bring the cherries to the boil, warm the alcohol in another pan and set light to it with a match and pour onto the cherry sauce before you spoon that over the ice cream. If the flame goes out just heat some more alcohol and add to the sauce again.

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