Any recipe involving liquor and a match makes dinner a celebration. One of the easiest desserts involving these two elements is Flaming Cherries from Elsie de Wolfe’s Recipes for Successful Dining. As the ending to an evening meal it is simple, basic, and good, a sophisticated version of nursery food.
Below is de Wolfe’s recipe. Following that is our seat-of-the-pants adaptation, using E & J brandy (my husband called it “wino quality”), canned Bing cherries, and Nuyens Wisniowka, a cherry cordial we found on the bottom shelf of our bar, hidden so well it had a coating of dust. Feel free to substitute our happenstance ingredients with anything suitable that happens to be hanging around your pantry. Our daughter’s verdict? “I didn’t like the cherries but the cherry sauce with the vanilla ice-cream tasted good.” Oh, and in case anybody’s wondering, her serving of ice cream was topped with three cherries without the cherry-liqueur addition.
SOURCE: Elsie de Wolfe’s Recipes for Successful Dining (The William-Frederick Press, 1947)
Take a bottle of very best conserved red cherries and heat well. Add a large wine glass of brandy and set aflame. When flame has died down, add a small glass of Kirsch liqueur. Serve hot with vanilla ice-cream.
ADAPTED BY THE AESTHETE COOKS
An 8-ounce can Bing cherries, drained
1 cup E & J brandy
1/4 cup of Nuyens Wisniowka cherry liqueur
Vanilla ice cream
Heat the cherries in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the brandy and carefully light. When the flames subside, add the cherry liqueur. Spoon the hot cherries over ice cream and serve.