Lemon posset is rich, creamy and comes together like magic! Serve your luscious lemon posset with fresh berries and buttery shortbread for an irresistible treat!
Bright and citrusy with a velvety texture, lemon posset is a custard-like treat made with just a handful of ingredients: cream, sugar, a few lemons and a pinch of salt. Simply boil the cream with sugar, salt and lemon zest. Then stir in lemon juice to set the mixture, chill and enjoy!
what is posset?
Originally, posset referred to a hot drink dating back to 15th century England. It was made with curdled milk, sugar and alcohol and often used as a remedy of sorts. In the 19th century, after the original drink had gone out of style, the name posset was repurposed as the softly set custard-like treat we’ll be making today.
The best part about the chilled, citrus-set dessert? You’ll need just 4 ingredients:
- Granulated sugar: Sugar adds sweetness, but is also essential to thickening the mixture so don’t skimp here!
- Heavy cream: No substituting milk or half and half — the fat from the heavy cream is essential in getting the mixture to properly thicken and set.
- Salt: Just a pinch to balance the sweetness.
- Lemons: Lemon juice is necessary to get the proper consistency, but we also like to add lemon zest for an extra flavor boost!
how it works
With no gelatin or thickening agent, you may be wondering how we get such a luscious, custard-like texture. Here’s how it works:
- Boil the cream, sugar, salt and zest for several minutes.
Boiling the mixture dissolves the sugar and concentrates the proteins and fats in the cream.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice to thicken the mixture.
The lemon juice reacts with the cream causing the casein proteins in the cream to clump. However, the fat from the cream prevents the mixture from clumping too tightly (curdling) and it instead thickens into creamy posset!
tips + tricks
- Make sure to use a large enough pot and keep an eye on the cream as it boils. The mixture can boil over quite quickly so don’t step away!
- While you can leave out the zest or salt without any adverse effects, don’t experiment with the cream, sugar or lemon juice. The proportions used are necessary to get a perfectly smooth and set posset.
- Because this dessert is so rich, we like to divide it among six ramekins. You could also divide it among 4-5 ramekins for a larger portion size.
- Make sure to cover each ramekin with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming before serving.
lemon posset: FAQs
The texture of posset is soft and creamy. It’s a bit lighter than a pudding, but more dense than mousse.
About 2-3 hours in the fridge is all you’ll need to set your posset.
Yes! Posset will keep covered in the fridge for 3 days. If making ahead, we recommend preparing it the day or night before serving for the best flavor and texture.
Our favorite thing to serve with lemon posset is shortbread! Use shortbread cookies to scoop up the mixture or sprinkle shortbread crumbles on top. Berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries) also make great additions. And a bit of mint can add a wonderfully fresh flavor.
For more easy recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth, make sure to check out these posts:
- lemon blueberry cookies
- brandy snap baskets with mascarpone whipped cream
- chocolate chip walnut cookies
- torta caprese | flourless chocolate almond cake
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