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Easy Sauces for Christmas Pudding, or Pies from Peach to Mince

Published by Cristie Finders

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Classic Lemon Sauce


  • Granulated (caster) sugar
  • Water
  • Cornstarch (in the UK, corn flour)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh lemon zest if desired


(Recipe can be doubled or tripled with no difficulty.)


  1. Juice one half lemon, or one lemon, or 1 ½ lemons, as above.
  2. Cornstarch (corn flour, in the UK)
  3. Put into saucepan equal measures of sugar and water: ½ cup of each or 1 cup of each or 1 ½ cups of each.
  4. Dissolve 1, 1.5 or 2 tsp. cornstarch (corn flour) in twice as much water, and add to saucepan. Stir well.
  5. Over medium heat, stir mixture until it gets cloudy and begins to thicken.
  6. Keep stirring until it clarifies again and is as thick as you’d like it to be.
  7. Add the appropriate amount of lemon juice and zest. (NOTE: This is to taste. If you prefer a very light lemon flavor, use less at any level, or use more if you are very fond of lemon.)
  8. As the sauce will thin a bit with this addition, keep heating and stirring for a short time until it reaches your desired consistency again.
  9. Cool before serving, poured individually over slices of Christmas pudding, mince pies, or other dense, sweet dessert.

Hard sauce

This is another classic sauce that has many uses. It’s especially good in summer on a warm peach pie.


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (in the UK, icing sugar)
  • Vanilla extract, rum or brandy
  • Whole milk or light cream


  1. Allow butter to soften.
  2. Beat softened butter until whipped and smooth.
  3. Add one cup of the sugar, gradually, continually beating it into the butter until smooth.
  4. Keep adding sugar, a small amount at a time, and beating until the “sauce” is as thick as peanut butter.
  5. Finally, beat in milk or light cream a tablespoonful at a time until the sauce just reaches pouring consistency.

NOTE: Often, this sauce is used on a hot dish?a hot apple pie or tart, for example. It would then be used in its thick phase, spooned on to melt nicely over the dish. Christmas pudding is often served quite warm, but sometimes cold. The thinner version may be more versatile, and easier to use by passing around the table in a pitcher.

Brandy butter


  • ½ c. unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ c. confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  • 1-2 TBSP warm water
  • 3 TBSP brandy


  1. Begin to cream the butter by hand.
  2. When it starts to expand slightly, begin adding the sugar a bit at a time, continuing to cream them together.
  3. Finally, beat in the warm water and brandy, beginning with the smaller amount of water and adding more if the mixture is too stiff. However, you will need to be able to scoop the mixture out of its storage container so it should not be too runny.
  4. Put into a container and chill until needed.

Brandy cream

Almost as simple as lemon sauce!


  • ½ cup plus one ounce heavy cream (Double cream in the UK)
  • 3 TBSP light brown sugar (in the UK, golden caster sugar)
  • 1-2 TBSP brandy


  1. Add sugar to the cream and whip slightly with a whisk.
  2. Add brandy to taste and continue to whip with a whisk until all the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Chill before serving.

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