Amontillado Dessert Sauce

November 12, 2014
Author Notes

While wandering through my 1950 edition of “The Gourmet Cookbook” in search of an old-school brandy sauce for my steamed holiday puddings, I stumbled on two different recipes for sherry sauce. My mother was particularly fond of a good Amontillado, and she passed that on to me. I’ve combined the two recipes, taking the best of each. The “secret ingredient” in this – jam – makes good use of any odd bits you have lingering in that near-empty jar in your fridge. This pantry-friendly sauce goes well over roast pears (I’ll be posting a recipe for that, soon) and slices of pound cake, toasted or not. We've been known to drizzle it over hot sticky buns on holiday mornings, for a rather grownup treat, and spooning it over biscuits, topping with strawberries. When I tasted the first batch that I made, I could not help asking myself, “Why don’t we cook this way more often?” Put this one in your “lost treasures” file. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames

  • Makes about a cup
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Amontillado or other dry sherry (I like the Lustau Solera Riserva Los Arcos)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of apricot jam (or nectarine, or peach, but see note below)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup cream, scalded
In This Recipe
  1. In the top of a double boiler over simmering water (or bowl fitted over, but not touching, simmering water in a standard saucepan), stir together the sugar, lemon zest and nutmeg. Add the sherry and the jam and whisk together to blend thoroughly.
  2. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking briskly all the while. After blending in the last yolk, start stirring with a wooden spoon, and continue to stir, constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Don’t worry about any slightly harder bits around the edges of the bowl; just bring them back into the sauce and continue to stir.
  3. When the sauce is thick, whisk in the hot cream until thoroughly blended.
  4. Strain and serve. I hope you enjoy this.
  5. NB: This is best served warm or hot. It holds well for a day or two, and can be reheated in a microwave on medium-low power, stirring well after every half minute or so, or in the top of a double boiler.
  6. Also marvelous with quince jam, which gives the sauce a slightly pink hue.
  7. This recipe was created by Food52 member AntoniaJames.

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  • AntoniaJames
  • breanne

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)