Cherries Foster

57 Comments

My idea for cherries foster, inspired by bananas foster, which is a favorite of my husband’s, came about only because bananas are so long and require an elongated serving dish. I know, that’s a weird reason to ponder other forsterable fruit. But see?

Which made me think about what other fruits would allow a different sort of presentation – basically little round fruits like cherries!

Bottled cherries like Griottines or Frabbri Amarena would make a lovely topping on ice cream. But I really wanted to “foster” ripe cherries to mimic the bananas foster dessert.

Why? Because it’s fabulous. There’s caramelization, there’s sweetness, there’s fruitiness, there’s some liqueur, there’s flambéing, and ice cream. What’s not to love!

If you’ve never pitted fresh cherries before, it’s very easy. Just use an olive pitter, sometimes called a cherry pitter! I find it best to pop out the pit from or through the stem end. It can get a little messy and there can be flying pits, but it’s easy.

And definitely worth doing to make this dessert.

Here’s what I did.

Cherries Foster
Serves 4

1 pound of ripe cherries, rinsed, dried
4 ounces of butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Good splash of Kirsch*
High quality vanilla ice cream

Pit the cherries, slice in half, and set aside.

Heat the butter and brown sugar in a skillet. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

Add the cherry halves and sauté them until soft, at least 5 minutes.


Add the splash and light the liqueur. Let it flame until the flame dies out. You have to look closely, but there are flames! Sauté for another few minutes then turn off the heat.


Scoop the ice cream into serving bowls. Top with the cherries with the cherries and sauce.

I found these cookie crumbs on Amazon and I thought they’d be good for some crunch.


I thought the crunch really added something. The possibilities are endless.


By the time I’d taken photos, the ice cream had become soup…

But boy was this a spectacular dessert. I truly loved it. And it’s pretty enough. I certainly could have done a better job of “styling” the cherries, but I added them still warm; my time was limited!


Thank you Mr. Foster.

* Vanilla liqueur or bourbon are other choices, or no alcohol.

57 thoughts on “Cherries Foster

    • Bananas Foster is pretty incredible. I takes the mundane banana to a whole new level, especially with banana liqueur. But the cherry version was pretty fabulous as well!

  1. Mimi – when I was a teenager, my Dad took me to a French restaurant for “Cherries Jubilee” – so similar to your Cherries Foster, but I imagine with white instead of brown sugar. I was thrilled at the flambé! So thanks, lovely memories!

    • I just recently heard about cherries jubilee! They sound good, also, but I like the browned butter and brown sugar, plus the bit of liqueur. But so similar. I love having food memories!

    • You should definitely try the banana version. Sautéed, flambe´d bananas with banana liqueur over ice cream. Heaven.

  2. The stores (and my fridge) are overflowing with cherries at the moment. This looks like a fine way to use them in an interesting way. I really like recipes that take a classic dish and give it a new twist.

  3. Fosterable fruit. :) Love it and your cherry version, Mimi! Recently a fellow brought me a half-pint jar of “mulberry mash” — thought he meant preserves — glad he told me it was 100-proof before I took a sip! I immediately thought of cherries jubilee (one of my kids’ favorite desserts because of the flame factor!) — made it when I got home! Never made bananas (or cherries) Foster. How fun! I need to make this — for them — and for me! Thank you, xo

    • Wow! I bet that was strong! See, why have I never heard of cherries jubilee? And they’re French? I’m sure my mother would say that they’re not from her part of France! Anyway. You should try some kind of foster some time. I have made them just for my husband and myself, so it’s better than making a whole cake or pie. And, there’s the flame factor!

  4. Neat dessert! I always pit my cherries through the stem end, too. And they certainly do fly about, don’t they?! Ice cream is such a pain to photograph. But I’ve found that ice cream soup can be pretty good. :-)

  5. I’ve made Bananas Foster once (before blogging) and it was delicious but enough calories for a whole meal. I like the idea of a cherry version. Cherries, caramel, and chocolate are a great combination. I suppose I would call it flambeed cherries with ice cream.

    • Except for the butter part. That’s what makes the foster part. Bananas Foster uses rum and banana liqueur, so I guess I could have been more creative with the alcohol, but it turned out really well as is.

  6. What a great idea! Funny thing is that I had the same complaint about Bananas Foster – my plates were the wrong shape. Mark said I simply need to cut them in half and serve in a regular dish! I hate practical responses… 😊

  7. I have never heard about any foster dessert, so it was a very interesting discovery. It sounds delicious and light and I prefer the cherry version by far!

    • The “fostering” truly takes bananas to a new level, but I personally prefer cherries over bananas, so I enjoyed my creation!

  8. First, that turquoise bowl is so beautiful! Love it.
    And summer cherries! I can’t get enough, and this is such a delicious way to use them. So delicious!

  9. What a great idea! Laura and I used to make bananas foster all the time when we first got married. It was our ‘specialty dessert.’ We haven’t made it in years now though. We need to do that again! But first I want to try this cherry version. It looks amazing, Mimi! Plus, we have some kirsch hanging out in the liquor cabinet just waiting for a use…and I think I found it! :-)

  10. I honestly don’t know what else to do with kirsch! It’s so strong! Of course you bake a lot… This cherry foster was really exceptional. I played it safe with the kirsch, and didn’t use a liqueur, but you could really go crazy and be creative with both the booze and the liqueur.

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