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Posset in medieval times was a spiced, rich milky-wine concoction, served probably more often as a remedy than a dessert. They did mix their drinks in the olden days didn’t they? Milk and wine, I don’t know. These days piña colada is the only thing that springs to mind when you name milk and booze in one sentence, and it’s not quite as hugely popular any more as when it featured in Wham! videos.
These days posset is something else entirely, but not as popular as is its due - which I’m now attempting to remedy. Because take this: cream, sugar and lemon - how can you do better for a pudding? And it’s not panna cotta so no unpleasant wobbles to experience - no disrespect to panna but I’m not a huge fan of jelly-wobbly things.
Posset is unbelievably easy to make: boil cream and sugar, add lemon, bingo. You fear it’s too runny and a disaster - you couldn’t be more wrong, it sets beautifully after half an hour in the fridge. It’s the mother of all desserts when you’re stressed and hassled. It’s the dessert matrix. It’s the go-to dessert. And it works just as beautifully as a crowd pleaser as a ‘fancy-a-sweet’ single cup. You can use lemon, orange or grapefruit - probably even vinegar if you fancied an experimental taste.
And it works on a sunny hot afternoon as well as on Christmas Day.
lemon possetServings: 6Time: 15 minutes plus chilling
- Makes 6 cups with plenty of tasting material for the chef.
- 540g double cream
- 155g caster sugar
- 75ml lemon juice (two lemons)
- To serve:
- 100ml double cream, lightly whipped
- a handful of pomegranate seeds or any seasonal fruit
- crunchy biscuits (recipe here)
1. Mix the sugar with the cream in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down when it starts to bubble and let it simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2. Take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir in well. Let the posset stand for 10 minutes, give it a final stir and pour into shot glasses or espresso cups. Place them in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
3. To serve, pipe a dollop of whipped cream into each cup and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or berries. Serve with crunchy biscuits.