Hot Punch Sauce

This is a wonderful, very boozy sauce which, once tasted, makes you wonder why we ever bother to put alcohol in puddings. The sauce can be made well in advance, as long as you re-heat it gently and don't let it boil. Serve with Light Christmas Pudding.

Serves 8

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

Hot Punch Sauce
 juice 1 medium orange
 thinly pared outer rind ½ medium orange
 thinly pared outer rind ½ large lemon
 juice 1 large lemon
 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
 1 rounded dessertspoon plain flour
 3 oz (75 g) unsalted butter
 2 tablespoons rum
 2 tablespoons brandy
 6 fl oz (175 ml) dry sherry (or medium will do)


First prepare the orange and lemon zests, and to do this it's best to use a potato peeler and pare off the outer zest, leaving the white pith behind. What you need is 4 strips of each zest measuring approximately 2 x 1 inch (5 x 2.5 cm). Then, using a sharp knife, cut the strips into very thin, needle-like shreds. Now pop these into a medium-sized saucepan, along with the sugar and 10 fl oz (275 ml) water, bring everything up to a slow simmer and let it simmer as gently as possible for 15 minutes.

While that is happening, squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon, and in a separate bowl, mix the flour and butter together to form a paste. When the 15 minutes is up, add the orange and lemon juice, along with the rum, brandy and sherry, and bring it all back up to a gentle heat. Now add the paste to the liquid in small, peanut-sized pieces, whisking as you add them, until they have dissolved and the sauce has thickened.

Serve the sauce hot in a warmed serving jug and, if you make it in advance, re-heat it gently without letting it come to the boil. Serve some sauce spooned over each portion of Light Christmas Pudding and hand the rest around separately

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