If custard and mousse had a baby, they'd likely call it "posset". Because it's adorable sounding AND accurate. A posset is actually a very old dessert dating back to the Middle Ages. Originally served more like a thickened alcoholic drink (think curdled cream & wine—stay with us), today's posset is far more pudding like. Made from just three ingredients—cream, sugar and citrus juice—this refreshing dessert is a true crowd pleaser and dead easy to make. Lemon posset is the base, but you can play around with different flavourings once you get the hang of it.
4 cups heavy or whipping cream (free from thickeners, if you can find it)
1/2 cup of honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
In a large saucepan, bring the cream and honey to a boil—stirring constantly. Allow the cream to boil rapidly (keep stirring) for a good 3 minutes. This may seem counterintuitive, but a rapid boil is essential to getting a velvety posset. By breaking up the fat droplets in the cream, you ensure a lovely finish.
After 3 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Allow the mixture to steep for 20 minutes. A skin should form on top. This is a good thing.
Pour the thickened posset through a fine-mesh strainer and into a large bowl. This will strain out the zest and deal with the skin in one go. Thanks Cook's Illustrated for this awesome tip!
Portion out the posset into your serving bowls. Keep in mind, posset's are rich so a little goes a long way. You can cover with lids or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge. However, we think that allowing the posset to set at room temperature makes for a more marginally lush posset. It really depends on how much time you have. Chill before serving and garnish with lemon zest and serve with fresh berries.
Variations: Infuse the cream with lavender buds, rose petals or elderflower blossoms. Substitute half fresh squeezed orange juice for the lemon (allow to boil for 4 minutes to accommodate reduced acidity). Add scraped vanilla bean or try authentic Middle Age spices like mace, cinnamon & cloves.