Cherries Jubilee

I joined a book club with some of the ladies from church and it was my turn to host the book. With the chaos of holidays we needed a quick and easy book and the first one that I could think of was "Dealing with Dragons" by Patricia C. Wrede. In the book Cimorene makes Cherries Jubilee for the dragon Kazul a few times, so I thought that it would be fun to make cherries jubilee for the book club meeting. I read quite a few recipes and ended up combining elements from a number of recipes that sounded the most tasty, and I dropped the flambe aspect. I want to try the flambe sometime, but this one wasn't for a flashy presentation so I left it out. Here is the Cherries Jubilee I came up with:
Cherries Jubilee atop Cherry Cha Cha base


  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 lb. ripe cherries
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1-2 TBS water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 TBS cornstarch

    1. Pit the cherries. I don't have a cherry pitter so I found a stiff straw (from one of Darrow's sippy cups) and used it to push the pits out. It worked really well actually. I also read that a small cake decorating tip can be used the same way. 
    2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. 
    3. Add the pitted cherries and "saute" for just a minute. 
    4. Add all remaining ingredients, with the cornstarch being last. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the mixture rather than just dumping it in. 
    5. Cook over medium heat until the juices have thickened to your liking.
    6. Serve with vanilla ice cream, cake, cheesecake, or (as pictured above) Cherry Cha Cha and use these as the cherries! 
    This was so yummy. I love the flavor. Not too sweet at all. Mmmm. We'll be making this one again!

    Cherry Cha Cha

    Pictured without the cherry topping
    This is a great no-bake cheesecake-like dessert and is great plain or with toppings.


    • 1/3 c margarine (the original recipe called for 1/4 c. and I found that wasn't enough to hold the crust together at all)
    • 1 1/3 c. graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 c. sugar
    • 4 oz cream cheese
    • 1 c. powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 small instant vanilla pudding
    • 3/4 c. milk
    • 1 small container Cool Whip (I didn't have Cool Whip on hand, but I did have packets of Spiffy Whip, so I made one of those instead)
    • 1 can cherry pie filling
    1. Melt margarine in an 8x8 casserole dish or 9" pie pan. 
    2. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar into the butter, and press into the bottom of the pan to form a crust. 
    3. Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. 
    4. In a separate bowl mix the vanilla pudding with the milk. 
    5. Fold into the cream cheese mixture. 
    6. Fold in the Cool Whip. 
    7. Spoon into pan over crust. 
    8. Top with cherry pie filling; chill.