When Queen Victoria celebrated the 50th year of her reign, the eminent chef Auguste Escoffier created a dish in her honor called Cerises Jubilee: cherries poached in sugar syrup and kirsch, then flambéed. Barbara Lynch's modern version uses prunes, Asian spices and brandy. It is delectable with crème fraîche, ice cream or on buttered toast.
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1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise pod
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup pitted prunes
Crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, for serving
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise and bring to a boil. Simmer the spiced sugar syrup over moderate heat for 15 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Off the heat, stir in the brandy and prunes. Let the brandied prunes stand at room temperature until they plump, at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
Just before serving, rewarm the prunes. Serve in bowls over spoonfuls of crème fraîche or ice cream.
The prunes can be refrigerated in their syrup for up to 1 week.
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