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Monday 2 July 2012

Lemon Posset

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?

Lemon Posset

You will need:

3 large lemons, juiced and zested
900ml double cream (yes, really)
210g caster sugar

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
If you want to add berries and limoncello, add a scattering of diced strawberries and blueberries to the bottom of each cup, and top with 2 tsps liqueur before pouring in the posset.


  1. You can't go wrong with posset! I love simple, traditional recipes- they speak for themselves.

    I started my 30s as a hellraiser, a few days later I felt knackered and returned to being a pint-of-ale-and-a-nice-sit-down-er.

  2. well seeing that i'm in the over 40 club now all I can report is that I still feel 17 so you must feel like a small child!... lovely lemon posset... and welcome back... you better start blogging more regularly... I nearly gave up on you!

  3. Posset is the recipe with most return for least effort that I know. I loooove how easy it is, how tasty it is and how darned impressed everyone is when you make it.
    I made some for Christmas dinner and served it in cream cups and saucers I'd found in the local charity shop, with candied whole clementines on the side. Those were similarly outrageously easy too!

  4. Welcome back and happy (belated) birthday... Beautiful lemon posset. Thank you for showing us the inside of your fridge. Not sure I am prepared to do the same at this time. It needs some cleaning up first :)

  5. Happy birthday! This looks delicious!

    I would show you my fridge, right now I am marinating some bad boy spareribs in it!! But I think it would horrify you a little, because it's not exactly pretty otherwise. It's only opened jars of pickles, jam and some bananas that have gone all bruised and brown :( I'm slightly ashamed of it to be honest.

    This looks wonderful, I want to make some!

  6. Happy late birthday! I do hope you have fun raising hell :)

    This posset sounds deliciously sinful. I've never had one!

  7. This lemon posset looks delish. I love how posset is so cushy and so satisfying. By the by, I still have a few more years to go until I hit the big 3-0. But my hubby is turning 30 in a few days. My 20s has been quite a roller-coaster ride, I want some stability and security by the time I turn 30.

  8. ok call me a noob but I've never heard of a posset before. Guess it's a very classic english thing that may have grown up iwth, but not for me, growing uo in asia. I somehow had a vision of a baby chicken roasted with lemon, yes I know that's a poussin >< It does look delicious, so I'm glad I learnt something!

  9. I've never heard of Posset before, but now I think I'm in love...

  10. The Posset looks heavenly!

    The post is one of our Top 5 Food & Drink blogs for August.

    Check out the post:


That's what he said.

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