Need a quick and easy dessert that will create a stir? Then this easy cherry compote fits the bill. Add a splash of Cointreau or brandy at the end, warm through then light with a long match, stand well back and wait for the applause.
1 lemon, pare rind from lemon with a vegetable peeler and squeeze juice
200 ml (7 fl oz) water, plus little extra
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
400 g (14 oz) British cherries, stalks and stones removed
4 tablespoons Cointreau or brandy
Scoops vanilla ice cream to serve
Add the lemon rind, juice, water and sugar to a small frying pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Boil for 3 minutes until syrupy.
Add the cherries and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until they are softened and the juices have coloured the syrup.
Lift out and discard the lemon rind.
Add the liqueur or brandy and bring just to the boil, flame with a lit match (use extra long ones so you don’t burn fingers) making sure to stand well back then take to the table.
When the flames subside spoon into dishes and serve with scoops of ice cream.
Look out for a cherry stoner when you are next shopping, this handy gadget makes light work of pressing out the cherry stones, it is about the size and price of a garlic press, but once you have one, you will wonder how you ever managed without it!