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Cherries Jubilee warms the heart for Valentine's Day

Sherrel Jones shares a recipe for the dessert she and her husband have enjoyed for more than four decades.
BY SHERREL JONES Published: February 12, 2014
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1 can (20 or 30 ounces) cherry pie filling (Lucky Leaf Lite or Wilderness Country Cherry)

1 can (21 ounces) dark sweet cherry pie filling or topping (Lucky Leaf)

½ cup cherry brandy OR 1 tablespoon almond extract

Scoop ice cream into bowls (heat- and freezer-proof is good). Place bowls in freezer to get ice cream frozen solid again.

Place pie fillings in large skillet on top of stove. Keep a large metal spoon, preferably one with a long handle, 8 inches or longer, nearby.

Non-flaming version:

Simply stir in almond extract or ¼ cup of the brandy. Heat and spoon hot cherry mixture over ice cream and serve.

Flaming method:

Stir and heat pie fillings until bubbing. Reduce heat to low medium under cherries, keeping them simmering hot. In a small skillet or sauce pan, heat brandy over medium heat until warm (about 45 to 60 seconds). Pour gently on top of hot cherries. Place bowls of ice cream near hot cherries. (If this pan of brandy ignites on its own, simply pour over the cherry mixture — think of this little surprise as a shortcut to jubilee status.)

Pour about 2 tablespoons additional brandy in the metal spoon. Hold spoon about 1 foot away from the pan of cherries and light the brandy in the spoon, move it down next to the cherries and pour to ignite the brandy on top.

Stir slightly, letting blue flames dance around and begin spooning liquid over ice cream. Working quickly, you can actually have flaming cherries pour over the ice cream, but that needs practice as there is a bit of adrenaline rush while the flames are dancing around.

Flaming notes: As a precaution, have a large lid that will cover the skillet or pan used to heat cherries. This will allow you to smother the flames if the process gets out of hand. Alcohol is consumed by the flame very quickly, but use extra caution when igniting so as not to spill any of the liquid. Do not even think of answering the phone or kissing your sweetheart while flaming the cherry mixture!

Cooking notes: It is a good idea to work with a partner to make this dish. Go over every step before lighting the brandy. The cherry mixture can be frozen and brought out again, so don't worry about having some leftovers if it is just you and your Valentine. You can celebrate again as long as there's ice cream and a yearning for a little romance.

Source: Sherrel Jones