Posset was a dish consumed heavily in the 19th century as a curative. It was cream or whole milk brought to a boil then mixed with wine in order to curdle it, thus thickening it and flavored with various spices. While that recipe perhaps sounds less desirable to today’s palate, lemon posset is one of the most refreshing, creamy desserts to ever be somewhat forgotten but now hopefully reintroduced to your loved ones.
The process is somewhat similar, with cream and sugar brought to a low boil, taken from the heat and lemon juice added. Once cooled 3 hours to overnight the texture thickens to something between a soft yogurt and custard. Be warned, this is a dish best served with tiny spoons in your tiniest, fanciest dessert glasses, shot glasses or champagne flutes. It’s basically heavy cream and it’s glorious beyond the sum of its parts.
This specific recipe version was learned while at a Rachel Allen’s class at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland and the thanks you’ll no doubt have on this divine little dish goes to them.
Herbed Lemon Posset
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
½ cup granulated sugar
5 leave rose or lemon scented geranium, or other sweet herb (optional)*
2 fluid ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice from 1 to 2 lemons)
In a saucepan, combine cream, sugar and scented geranium leaves.
Bring to a simmer.
Turn down heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse flavor or scented geranium, after 5 minutes, take off the heat and strain leaves.
If not using geranium or other herbs, take off the heat after cream and sugar is heated to a rolling simmer and the sugar is fully dissolved.
Slowly add lemon juice and stir well.
Allow to cool slightly and add to small glasses
Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. After 3-4 hours, posset will have firmed.
Serve with tiny spoons!
Sweet geranium is an unusual find in the U.S. Please note any other type of geranium is neither suitable, nor edible!
You may however substitute mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm or go for just lemon.