Cherries Foster

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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.

Midori Fizz

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If you’re not familiar with Midori, it is a melon-flavored, grass-green liqueur. What I didn’t know, is that Midori is the Japanese word for green, and it was manufactured only in Japan until 1987, according to Wikipedia.

It’s a sweet liqueur, so it needs to be diluted with fizzy liquids, which can include club soda, Prosecco, tonic water or, my favorite – Fresca!

If you’re a martini lover, midori can be mixed with lemon juice and vodka, shaken with ice and strained.

Sweet and sour mix can also be used as a mixer, but something like lime juice is required to cut the sweetness. And lastly, Midori can be turned into an adult slushy for a seriously refreshing summer drink. So many options.

All I’m doing today is mixing Midori with Fresca. It’s a bubbly grapefruit soda that I use a lot, even in sangria. So it didn’t take much brainpower to or the skills of a mixologist to create this combination, but just in case you haven’t discovered Midori, I wanted to post on it.

And that’s it! I do about a 50-50 mixture of Midori and Fresca, but that can be adjusted of course.

Of course ice cubes can also be added to the Midori Fizz.

If you love the taste of sweet melon, you will love Midori!

I posted on a Pimm’s float before, and now I’m thinking about a Midori float!!! Yes!!!

Sweet Strawberry Vodka

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I was browsing at a liquor store a while back (doesn’t everyone do that!) and I came across one lonely bottle of strawberry vodka. It wasn’t very expensive, and I was definitely tempted, but sometimes flavored anything can have a chemical flavor instead of a natural flavor. And it seems like strawberry flavor can be the worst if it’s fake. So I passed. But instead, I decided to make my own.

We had an extremely late strawberry season, so at the beginning of June when I made the vodka, the strawberries were abundant and inexpensive.

My garden was producing a lot of strawberries, but I’m too selfish to use my home-grown berries for this vodka. They’re just too fun to pick and eat. Warm. Besides, the grocery store berries were very good and sweet.

strawberries

I’m not sure if this will end up a strawberry vodka or a strawberry liqueur – I’m kind of hitting it in the middle. And I won’t know the results for a couple of weeks. I’ve sampled a lot of flavored vodkas – especially at wine festivals – but I’ve never come across a strawberry version, except that lone bottle at the liquor store. So I’m a bit excited.

Sweet Strawberry Vodka

Rinse and dry 2 pounds of fresh strawberries. Have 1/2 gallon of good vodka on standby – I used a Texas import called Tito’s.

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Stem them, slice in half, and then place them in a large bowl. Cover the berries with 1 cup of sugar and toss them to coat.

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Let macerate for one hour.

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Then place them in a food processor and process until pulpy.

Place the berry mush in as many sterilized bottles as you decide to use. I decided to divide mine into three batches.

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Then add the vodka.

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Shake them up well, cover with sterilized lids, and place the bottles in a cool place for 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks, strain the vodka. Interestingly enough, the strawberries turned white, but the vodka turned a very pretty pink!

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The vodka came out with a definite strawberry flavor, a bit sweet, which is fine, but certainly not sweet like a liqueur. Perfect.

Now what to do with the vodka. I have a lot of ideas. First I tried it with 1/2 and 1/2. Delicious. Then, I added fresca to the same drink. Fabulous! It was like a strawberry vodka-flavored Italian ice!

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Then, I just tried it with fresca by itself, because I enjoy the combination of unflavored vodka and fresca. Also fabulous – with a nice strawberry flavor, but not overly sweet.

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Then for my final test of the strawberry flavored vodka, I made a martini of sorts for my husband (they’re just too strong for me.) I added equal parts strawberry vodka, Chambord (raspberry liqueur), and vodka. It turned out to be a very pretty color, and he said it was dynamite, and that I might like it. But, I like cocktails a little more diluted so I passed. The Berry Martini is pictured in the featured photo.

Other ideas:
S V with lemonade
S V with Chambord and champagne
S V with champagne or prosecco
S V with lemon sorbet and champagne
S V with tonic…

In the fall, try Spiced Pear Liqueur, as well as Gingerbread Liqueur!