This easy recipe for lemon posset is simple and uses just three ingredients. Lemon possets (or lemon pots) are an impressive, delicious and elegant make ahead dessert which can also be frozen. Keeps in the fridge for several days.
We love a lemon posset. Not only is it a delicious pudding, but it’s a pudding with history, harking back to the late medieval. Originally it might have been a cooling drink with, it was thought, some medicinal properties but is has now morphed into this rich and creamy pudding. And that name! “Posset”. It just reeks of the Georgian; mulling ale with a hot poker, wildly impractical clothing, whispers hidden behind a wafting fan, and any other Jane Austen-ian cliche you can think of.
I realise here that to some, “pudding” is a word that implies something in particular: probably a cornstarch based custard or mousse, normally found in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, and frequently chocolate flavoured. But I’m using pudding here in the traditional British sense, as in the sweet course of a meal after the main dish.
These lemon possets are the epitome of a British creamy pudding; silky smooth with a delicious citrus tang, rich but at the same time refreshing, they are impressive but quick & easy to make, and ideal for busy people as they can be made ahead and frozen.
Tips and tricks for making lemon possets
This recipe really could not be simpler, I used to make it by heating the cream and sugar, then adding the lemon juice, then realised that you could just sling it all in the pan together.
- When zesting and juicing lemons always zest before juicing. To extract the most juice roll the lemon on the kitchen worktop with a moderate pressure under the heel of your hand. If you want to you can add the zest for extra flavour, but I think that it spoils the silky smoothness of the posset.
- When heating the mixture watch the pan all the time. Like milk, boiling cream will erupt in the pan like a volcano and the second you take your eye off it, it will boil over. if you need to answer the phone, or door take the saucepan off the heat.
- Stir the mixture constantly when cooking. It will thicken first on the sides and bottom of the pan, I like to use a silicon spatula to constantly scrape the sides and bottom of the pan.
- Once cooked wait before transferring to serving dishes so there is not risk of the boiling hot cream cracking them. I like to use vintage glasses which easily crack with a change in temperature.
- To avoid dribbles down the side of the serving glasses use a jug to pour the warm cream in, or a jam funnel.
- Any splashes of cream or smears can easily be cleaned up with a cotton bud dipped in vodka.
Can I freeze Lemon Posset?
Yes! Lemon posset freezes really well. When you want to serve it defrost overnight in the fridge. If there are a few cracks simple pour a little cream over them to hide them.
- 1.25 cups Heavy / Double Cream (300ml)
- 1/3 cup Caster Sugar (75g)
- 1 Lemon juiced
Put the all the ingredients into into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer whilst stirring for 3 minutes. Its best to use a spatula so you can keep scraping the sides and bottom of the pan.
Allow to cool so you can comfortably touch the side of the pan.
Pour the mixture into individual dishes (ramekins, wine glasses, espresso cups - it is very rich so a smaller serving is better) and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Serve with a slice of lemon and a little cream poured on top
Lemon possets will freeze well, just pour a little liquid cream over to hide the cracks that will appear upon defrosting.
Lemon Posset recipe originally published October 2007, updated November 2016. Original image for reference!
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