Lemon Posset | Recipe | Dessert

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Lemon Posset recipe

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane

A lemon posset is a very simple dessert that originated in England .
When Macbeth asked for a posset to be prepared for him before going to bed, however, this was a drink of milk soured with wine that was popular in the Middle Ages.
And with a sudden vigor it doth posset
And curd, like eager dropplings into milk
Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 1, Scene V (The Ghost's Monologue)
Macbeth Act II, Scene 1
It later became transformed and is now similar to the Italian panna cotta except it does not use gelatine as a setting agent. Rather, the acid from the lemon juice or lime juice acts on the proteins (casein) in the cream causing it to set.
A posset can be cooked or uncooked depending on what flavour and texture you want to achieve. We find that this ‘cooked' posset is a wonderful partner to our blood orange, pomegranate and cardamom jelly.
For the posset:
300 ml of pouring cream
75 g of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
For the citrus sauce:
1 blood orange or tangelo or orange
30 grams caster sugar
Put the cream, sugar and lemon rind in a small saucepan and place over low heat, stirring all the time to make sure the sugar dissolves and until bubbles start to form. Allow to continue cooking gently for two to three minutes. Do not let it get to a rolling boil.
Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, stir to distribute the juice, then pour into small dessert glasses or shot glasses. Refrigerate until set.
To make the citrus sauce, simple cut a blood orange or tangelo or orange into wedges and remove all pips. Place the wedges (skin, pith and fruit) and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. This is your citrus sauce.
It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks and can be used to accompany many dishes (put some on vanilla ice cream, for example). For this recipe we refine it somewhat by pushing it through a fine sieve to create a smoother version. We then place a teaspoon of this finer sauce on top of the lemon posset to create a colour and flavour contrast.
© Sue Dyson and Roger McShane, 2005
This recipe must not be reproduced in print or displayed on another Web site in part or whole without the written permission of the authors.

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