Mrs Beeton’s plum pudding sauce

Meal type Dessert
Occasion Christmas
Region British
From book Beeton's Book of Household management edited by Mrs Isabella Beeton


  • 300ml brandy
  • 400ml Madeira (or sweet sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar (or to taste)
  • 120g unsalted butter (chopped into 4 pieces)


I'm always terrified I'll curdle a custard, so 'hard sauce' (made with brandy or rum butter) is usually served with our Christmas pudding. But after trying out this recipe for the blog, I'm a complete convert! And what's more, this sauce doesn't curdle.

Serves 12


Heat the brandy, Madeira and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Do not boil unless you want the alcohol to cook off.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it has just melted. If the milk solids separate from the butter, leaving white specks in the sauce, skim these off or strain the sauce through a fine sieve.
Serve the sauce hot, spooned over each serve of the pudding .
Serves 12

Have you tried this recipe?

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