Bulgaria produces some first-rate tinned cherries if you can find them, or if they are in season you can use fresh ones stewed in syrup.
Drain the cherries but reserve the juice. Mix the fruit with the lemon rind, caster sugar, cinnamon and liqueur and leave to steep until needed, at least 2 hours – the longer the better. Ice cream is served with these cherries, so buy or make the best vanilla you can.
When you are about to eat this pudding, blend the cornflour with the steeping juices from the cherries until quite smooth. Add a few spoons of the tinned juice. Pour into a frying pan and stir over a low heat until clear and thickened. Pour in more tinned cherry juice if necessary. Stir in the cherries to heat through. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar, add the cognac and then set fire to the whole mixture, spooning the juices over and over until the flames abate. Serve poured over the ice cream. Very luscious.
© 1996 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.