You may think that it's silly for me to start with a picture of a 'finished' lemon posset, but let's be realistic: this is what you'll end up with after all.
So I'm back. Back and ready to start a new chapter in my life: my thirties.
I must admit, I did wake up feeling rather old on my birthday (when I was still in Dubrovnik, btw. My return to Delicious Delicious Delicious was delayed following my arrival home by the rather more pressing need to study for my annual emergency procedures training - I start this new decade with safety in mind!). I never even considered that I would be this old, and yet suddenly, here I am. Maybe it's time to stop buying green bananas.
Still, I stick to my stock response to all who ask how it feels to hit the big 3-0: it's fine. My twenties had become dull and formulaic anyway. Now it's time for me to become, rather late in life, admittedly, a hell raiser. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I could be a hell raiser with a KitchenAid?
I am going to hold off on the Croatia report. I came across something in a bakery there that shocked the bejaysus out of me, but we'll get to that another day. Today, I thought I'd give you what I know you want - a recipe for something sweet. It's been a while since we had one.
I've meant to do a posset before. It's one of the easiest desserts I know, and is all the more brilliant for making it look as though you've made tons of effort when you haven't at all. I always think of it as Winter food, but Mr. Other P asked if we could pretty please have it for dessert when friends came over last week and half way through preparing it I suddenly remembered that I had a blog and posset was most definitely post-worthy.
Lemon Posset always reminds me of when we went for dinner at The River Cottage Canteen, but I'm not supposed to talk about that because we went without our friends (Hi, Lucy and Rish! How was honeymoon?) and then fed them fridge-cold Scotch eggs from the supermarket when they arrived later on. In our defense, they were very late and it was a table for two on the Friday evening or nothing all weekend. We did what any selfish boys would do, which was to have three courses. One of which was satiny smooth, sharply alluring Lemon Posset.
Want to make some? Well here's how.
First, we boil cream with sugar in a large pan. I forgot to photograph this. Or the zesting and juicing of lemons for that matter. But be honest with yourselves: did you really want to see either?
Then we cool the cream, add the zest and juice, and beat the crap out of it with a whisk. You can do this by hand, I just have to start raising hell with my stand mixer, remember?
That's it. Your posset is made. I told you it was easy. You can gussy it up by adding a layer of chopped berries drenched in limoncello if you wish, but be warned that even though you only add 2 tsps of liqueur per person, the berries will release juice and make it seem like more. Then your friends will falsely accuse you of trying to get them drunk. If I were trying to get them drunk, I wouldn't make posset. I'd make Caipirinhas!
For what it's worth, I like to gussy it up.
Then you chill.
I've just shown you the inside of my fridge. What are you going to show me in return?
More formal instructions follow.
I'll be back soon. To my readers who are 30+: the club has a new member. How have you been raising hell since turning?
You will need:
3 large lemons, juiced and zested
900ml double cream (yes, really)
210g caster sugar
- In a large pan (this is imperitive as the cream will rise as it simmers and you don't want it to boil over, as mine did once), heat the cream and sugar slowly. Once the cream starts bubbling, let it boil (not at top whack, but not gently either. Let's call it a robust simmer.) for 3 minutes exactly. Cool.
- Add the juice and zest to the cool cream and whisk until thickened. With this amount, that should take a few minutes only. By hand, maybe four or five.
- Pour into glasses or tea cups and chill for several hours before serving. This amount serves 6 with a little left over, but as you can see, the recipe is easily scaled down, so long as you know your 3 times table.