Cherries jubilee sizzle like July 4th firecrackers

Red, white and blue dishes feted in this blog have ranged from subtle blueberry-strawberry salsa and watermelon-feta salad to the truly thematic. Think pie assembled as an American flag and cake bedecked like Old Glory.

While the latter takes some effort, the former requires a
bit of imagination to associate with Fourth of July. For culinary fireworks in
a short amount of time, try the classic cherries jubilee.

Ignited with a splash of liqueur, this simple sauté of
cherries, sugar, butter and flavorings elevates a simple ice-cream sundae to a
celebratory course in your holiday spread. And its preparation is guaranteed to
elicit some “ooohs” and “aaahs.” 

Lacking fresh cherries, you can easily make this with
frozen fruit. In fact, it’s an ideal way to rejuvenate cherries, like mine,
that have been stored since last summer.

Tribune News Service photo

Cherries Jubilee

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and scraped

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup brandy or kirsch

Juice from 1/4 orange

Zest from 1/2 orange

1 pint vanilla ice cream, for servings

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter. Once
bubbling, add the cherries, sugar, seeds from the scraped vanilla bean and the salt.
Cook until sugar has dissolved, for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, add the brandy and carefully ignite.
Extinguish flames by squeezing the juice of 1/4 orange into pan. Add the orange
zest and set aside.

Scoop ice cream into serving bowls. Pour cherries over
ice cream and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe by Michael Symon, via ABC