Lemon Posset

By • February 7, 2010 • 166 Comments



Author Notes: I’ve been intrigued by Lemon Posset recipes for a while now. In Ye Olde English days of yore, it was a milk drink thickened with wine. My Posset recipe is so simple, as they all are, really. Using just three ingredients, it seems almost magical, setting up immediately. The wonders of food science in front of your very eyes. Curdled milk never tasted so good.mrslarkin

Food52 Review: This recipe is a wonder of science. It's the perfect thing for anyone who may be fearful of making custard but harbors a weakness -- as we do -- for this sort of milky, comforting, nursery-food. Flavor-wise, it's like a creamier, less aggressive version of lemon curd, and it's rich enough that a small amount goes a long way. Do be careful that the cream doesn't boil over -- we watched it like a hawk, but it still managed to catch us by surprise! - A&MA&M

Serves 4

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. In a small saucepan, heat cream and sugar to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue boiling for 5 minutes. Watch the heat - don’t let the cream boil over.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let cool, about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour even amounts into four ramekins. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until set.
  4. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream, or shortbread cookies to dunk.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
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Tags: Desserts, Easy, elegant, lemon, pudding, quick, simple

Comments (166) Questions (3)

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24 days ago Sue O'Bryan

I love possets . . . I even tried a very ancient posset recipe recently involving bread, booze, fruit and cream. My husband loved it, it was like a boozy milkshake. Your lemon posset, however, I could eat!

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4 months ago paula

Threw a few dried rose petals (available from most spice stores) on top. It looked lovely and tasted delicious. Will try it with dried nutmeg blossoms and lime juice next time.

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4 months ago beejay45

Looking at the photo, I don't know why I expected this to be a sauce type of consistency, but...Since this has to set up in the fridge, I think I'm going to use it in fresh fruit crepes, as in, serve immediately (before it sets!). That just sounds so good to me.

Do you think subbing wine for some of the lemon juice (and adding zest to maintain the tang) would work for a sauce, at least?

Mrs._larkin_370

4 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hello beejay45! Sorry I didn't read this earlier. I'm not sure if wine would work but it's a great idea and totally worth trying. Let us know if you do!

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5 months ago Jinnie

I just finished making this and licked the pot clean. Absolutely quick and delicious. I only had 1C of whipping cream (leftover from making Meyer Lemon Cream) and I used 1/3C super fine sugar, 3 Meyer Lemons and the zest from two of them. There are only two of us and it filled 2 custard cups. I will put the leftover Lemon Meyer cream on when serving this evening. Thank you ever so much for such a simple and delish recipe. I will use it often.

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5 months ago Leslie Hill

Been making this for years. Lovely topped with a few raspberries and blueberries. Just as good made with lime juice. I've found that it holds well as a make ahead dessert for at least a day especially IF you're able to locate non ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. One huge nationwide chain stocks it.

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5 months ago Juliebell

I also made this for Valentine Day and it was a big hit. I added a little grated lemon zest. Thanks so much for the specific measurement on the lemon juice. Great recipe!

Stringio

5 months ago April Dawn Bell

I made this for me and my husband for Valentine's day. He loved it so much and said it was beyond good.

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5 months ago GGE

This had a lovely flavor. Mine was grainy. The pictures show it looking smooth. What should the texture be?

Mrs._larkin_370

5 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hmmm....not sure what it could be. The texture should be smooth, not grainy.

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6 months ago lemons

Priya, it's 2/3 cup, not 2 or 3 - the computers don't seem to recognize fractions well. You'll enjoy this recipe.

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6 months ago Priya Sawhney

Is it 2/3rd cup of sugar or 2 or 3 cups of sugar?
Thanks
Priya

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6 months ago BArnold

Has anyone experimented with making this vegan by using coconut cream? I'm allergic to milk :/ but this looks fantastic!

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7 months ago Kirsten Svenson

I made this recipe for the first time for a dessert cook-off (risky). I topped the posset with fresh pomegranate seeds, blueberries, and kiwi and made shortbread cookies to go with them. Served up in little clear glasses, it looked beautiful, and among all the pies, chocolate, and baked goods, it was a unique and refreshing dessert. Thanks for the recipe! Can't wait to try it with an ice-cream maker too!

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11 months ago Assonta Wagner

I have made this MANY times. This is one of my kids favorite desserts. We actually put it into the ice cream maker and added strawberries...OHHH MYY

Ozoz_profile

about 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

Just made this again. Boy, I'd forgotten how easy and delicious it is! I plan on serving it tomorrow night with Louisa's Cake (on food52), fresh strawberry sauce and unsweetened whipped cream. So, so excited. Thanks. And I did use a large pot.....thanks PastryMad!

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about 1 year ago PastryMad

Hello, I used to make lemon posset for our lunch menu when I was a pastry chef (in England). I always used a big pan for boiling the cream - it's less likely to boil over!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

That's makes perfect sense! Why on earth have I always used a small saucepan? Could be because I don't have a large saucepan. It broke many years ago, and I never replaced it.

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about 1 year ago PastryMad

*smile* And how do you make stock? Or boil pasta? Time to hurry down to the shops and get yourself one! Looove the posset, by the way.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I use my medium stock pot for those jobs. do you think I could successfully double or triple this recipe? I'm guessing you made posset in large quantities in the restaurant.

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about 1 year ago PastryMad

Yes, we did. Normally around 20 portions at a time. I used 2 litres of double cream - which I think is fattier than American heavy cream, with 45-48% fat. I sometimes made it with whipping cream (35% fat, similar to US), it was more delicate, had a softer set and was just as delicious. For two litres of cream (around 8 cups, I think), I used 560g of caster sugar (superfine in the US?), but used granulated sugar sometimes and it was fine. I guess that is about 2 and 1/2 cups of sugar (don't quote me on this). For the juice, I squeezed 8 lemons, which gave about 1/2 litre (2 cups) of juice. I am afraid my little European head just can't get round the cup system. Having moved to England from Italy 15 years ago, I have just about managed to learn to think in pints, ounces and pounds... Sorry! If my conversions are right, it appears that your recipe has a bit more sugar and a bit more lemon in proportion. I wonder whether this is because the fat content of heavy cream is lower than that of English double cream?
Anyway, having made your version, I find it perhaps very slightly tarter - which is only to the better, in my view! I could eat this stuff all day! Thank you!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

oh, you're welcome - I'm so glad you like my recipe. Thanks for the info on increasing recipe. Now I can use my bigger pot! Where are you from in Italy? My parents are from San Marino.

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about 1 year ago PastryMad

Fancy that! Two Italian ladies living in England and the States, talking about a British dessert! I'm from Trieste, which is in the north-east, right in the corner, on the border with Slovenia. Ciao bella!

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over 1 year ago Culluts

You should be ARRESTED!!! A dessert this simple and this delicious is a CRIME. I love it! Does that make me a criminal?

Mrs._larkin_370

about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yep, i guess it does! ;)

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over 1 year ago mornnen

This stuff is so good. I added a whole lemon worth of zest, and liked the extra zing that it added. Next time, I'm going to make some buttery tart shells made and fill them with this.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Glad you like it mornnen. Tart shells would be very good.

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over 1 year ago lemons

I cut back on the sugar/sugar sub just a little; we like it tart, too, and the results were great. More lemon juice might make it looser. Try the cut back first. I think you'll be happy.

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over 1 year ago UmmChummu

I'm excited to try this--finally a lemon dessert that doesn't contain eggs (my daughter and I are allergic to them)! It's mentioned that it's more mellow than curd, but I really like the tartness of curd, if I used more lemon juice, do you think it'd ruin the set up?

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over 1 year ago Summer of Eggplant

I add the zest of the lemon as well for added tartness.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi UmmChummu. Glad you found something to try! I would try both of the suggestions; cut back on the sugar (maybe use 1/2 cup, or remove 2 tablespoons) and the zest of a whole lemon. Let us know how it turns out!

I like how food52 is akin to a communal test kitchen! Isn't it great fun?

Bad_girl

over 1 year ago alamesa

Do you think I can use caster sugar (super fine)instead of granulated? I only have brown sugar but I do have caster sugar already for use in cakes.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hi alamesa. Yes, I think caster sugar would be just fine.

Bad_girl

over 1 year ago alamesa

Great! Perhaps I'll use slightly less than the suggested 2/3 cups of granulated as it's so much finer. Can't wait to try it!