It’s almost time to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.  Although June 21st is the first official day of summer, Canada Day seems like the real start of summer and it is a great excuse to celebrate with friends and family.  It also calls for a special red and white dessert to help mark the occasion.  Luckily all those beautiful red fruits like strawberries and cherries are just starting their peak season.  Now no offence to the cakes decorated with strawberries and whipped cream in the pattern of a maple leaf, but I like to go with a slightly more grown-up dessert, so I turn to Butter Roasted Cherries served with ice cream!  This is sooo easy to make, the most difficult part of this dessert is pitting the cherries.


I can be a bit of a show-off when it comes to dessert, it’s sort of expected me since I am a pastry chef, so last year I served these cherries with homemade Hazelnut Fudge Ripple Ice-Cream and small grind of fresh black pepper.  Not to worry, these are just as delicious with plain old vanilla ice-cream homemade or not.  If you are not into making your own ice-cream (in a future post I am going to try to convince you to get into it), just get some high-quality vanilla ice-cream, preferably from a local artisan creamery.  We are lucky to have some great ones here in Calgary like Village Ice-Cream and Made by Marcus.  By the way, I would still add the small grind of black pepper.


This year we are going to friends’ home for a big garden party.  Ice-cream is not feasible since people will nibbling throughout the evening, so instead I am serving them with a dollop of whipped cream made with a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest (and the pepper of course).  So put on Strange Brew (the classic Canadian farce featuring Bob & Doug McKenzie) and start pitting those cherries!



Butter-Roasted Cherries

makes about 1 cup

750 ml (3 cups)  pitted, halved cherries (about 900g/2lbs)

56 g (4 tbsp)  unsalted butter, melted

40 g (3 tbsp)  granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss cherries with butter and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until softened and caramelized, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Serve over ice-cream.  If desired, top with a small grind of fresh black pepper.

adapted from BonAppetit, July 2015