Monday, October 01, 2012

A Right Royal Dessert.

Today in Queensland is a public holiday in honour of the Queen’s jubilee. I know not how or why this was negotiated, but a day off is a day off, and an extra day off is almost enough to make one a royalist.

In honour of the extra day off, I was going to offer a short selection of ‘Jubilee’ recipes, but then remembered that I did this during the big jubilee month of June (the links are below, if you want to re-visit them.)  I was reluctant to part with the idea, however – partly because I needed a short and easy post for today, as I have holiday fun to get on with.

Luckily, I hardly seem to have touched on the vast reservoir of Jubilee-named dishes. Most importantly, I have not yet discussed one of the best known of these – ‘Cherries Jubilee.’ This dish of flambéed cherries soaked in liqueur is credited to Escoffier, although it is unclear which of Queen Victoria’s jubilees (Golden, in 1887, or Diamond in 1897) was the occasion for its invention. I find this strange – that such an important detail about such a famous dish prepared by a celebrity chef for Britain’s longest-serving monarch, for a highly a significant occasion, was not documented to within an inch of its life.

Nowadays, if one is lucky enough to be served Cherries Jubilee, they are most likely to be accompanied by vanilla ice-cream. This is not how Escoffier served them:

Cerises Jubilé (Cherries jubilee)
1 lb. white heart cherries, water, 4 oz. sugar, 6 oz. redcurrant jelly, kirsch.
Stone the cherries and put them in a saucepan with a little water and the sugar. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add the redcurrant jelly. Half fill a serving dish with the cherries and cover with the syrup in which they were cooked. Add some warmed kirsch, and set alight at the table.
Note Canned cherries can be used if cherries are not in season.
Ma Cuisine, Auguste Escoffier.

Menus for two meals served to Queen Victoria, during the Jubilee celebrations in 1897. 


Peter said...

A great way to celebrate!

The Old Foodie said...

I agree, Peter. Good, simple, ideas never date, do they?