Smoked Cherry and Whisky Butterscotch Ice Cream Sundae

Salty caramel mixes with juicy, herbed cherries in this recipe from "Live Fire" by Helen Graves

Photo: Courtesy Rob Billington

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Salty caramel mixes with juicy, herbed cherries in this ice cream sundae recipe from Live Fire, a cookbook from Pit magazine editor Helen Graves. It’s a simple dessert that is great for entertaining: the caramel sauce can be made hours before guests arrive (just be sure to warm before serving), the cherries can be smoked while everyone is eating, and, although the recipe calls for fresh fruit, frozen will also work. Whatever you choose, don’t skimp on the ice cream—a fancy vanilla makes this dish shine

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Smoked Cherry and Whisky Butterscotch Ice Cream Sundae

Excerpted with permission from Live Fire by Helen Graves published by Hardie Grant Books, May 2022



  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Whisky butterscotch

  • 50 g (1¾ oz/3½ Tbsp.) salted butter
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/generous ¼ cup) light brown sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) condensed milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. whisky

To serve

  • Vanilla ice cream


Prepare a barbecue for indirect cooking over medium heat, with the coals banked to one side.

Place the halved cherries, rosemary sprig, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and a splash of water into a small rectangular or square baking pan. Mix gently.

Add a small piece of wood to the lit coals and let it smolder. Place the baking pan on the cooler side of the barbecue. Put the lid on and leave the vents a quarter open. Cook for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until they have collapsed a little and given up some of their juice.

Melt the butter and sugar for the butterscotch together in a saucepan, then turn up the heat and let it bubble for a minute or so, until you have a homogenous mixture. Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract, whisking continuously, and continue cooking and whisking for about five minutes, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream and whisky.

Layer up the cherries and some of their cooking juices with vanilla ice cream and the whisky butterscotch in sundae glasses. Serve immediately.


Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 3 to 4