Chef Mark flambés timeless classic

Central Illinois Newsday

Its National Valentine Cherries Jubilee Day

Presented by Certified Executive Chef Mark Shoopman, CEC, CFBE

We celebrate a national food holiday with this timeless classic!


  • 6 tablespoons Butter, divided into two 3 tablespoon measurements
  • 1 cup Light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch slurry, (2 tablespoons of corn starch and 2 tablespoons cold water)
  • 1 each Juice of one orange, freshly squeezed or 1/8 cup prepared orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cans Dark, sweet cherries, drained with 1 cup of juice reserved
  • 1 teaspoon Finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup Golden or dark rum. Must be 80 Proof to flambé appropriately.
  • 4 – 6 cups Vanilla Bean ice cream


  1. Spoon the ice cream into your choice of serving vessel. Remember to be creative and use some decorations such as sauces to paint the plate or small edible flowers etc.… Keep chilled for service.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir and cook until dissolved. Immediately add the cherry, orange and lemon juices. Continue to cook until bubbly and reduce to a simmer.
  3. In a small cup, stir the cornstarch and water together to form a slurry. Add the slurry to the pan and allow to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the cherries and the orange zest and stir to coat the cherries.
  4. Remove the cherries from the heat and add in the brandy. Ignite with a long lighter. You want to ignite the fumes and not the liquid. Gently shake the pan until the blue flame has extinguished itself.
  5. Cut the extra for ounces of butter into small squares and gently stir them into the finished cherries until they just melt and serve immediately over your vanilla ice cream. (optional)

Please be careful when flambéing, paying attention to anything flammable above and around where you ignite the cherries. When the initial large flame has died down, a small blue flame will continue to burn for several seconds. Shake or stir the cherries gently to expose more alcohol to the flame, being careful that they do not burn. The goal is to have the small, blue flame burn for as long as possible, thereby reducing the raw alcohol flavor, caramelizing the sugars, and entertaining your guests!

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