Being an Aussie living in Britain, I don’t experience that many cultural differences (I even say ‘flip flops’, rather than ‘thongs’, without really thinking now, although I always have a little chuckle inside!). And British cuisine isn’t that much different to the food I was brought up on (lots of meat and three veg, and always a roast for Sunday lunch). But there are occasions when I come across something I’ve never heard before, let alone tasted, and I’m reminded that of course there are cultural differences.
A couple of years ago at a friend’s birthday party as we were deciding on dessert from the set menu, hubby leaned over and asked me ‘What’s lemon posset?’ I didn’t have a clue. And neither did our friends sitting around us, none of them being British. Hubby was happy to take the risk while I opted for something chocolatey (sorry, chocolate versus lemon? No contest!).
The lemon posset looked very simple when it arrived, accompanied by some berries and shortbread. Then we started eating it. It was divine! Creamy heaven. I had to find out how to make it!
A quick search on the Internet and I quickly understood why it tasted so good. Cream. A lot of cream. Oh and sugar and lemons, but it’s basically just sweetened flavoured cooked cream.
Aside from only having three ingredients, it’s also super easy to make and it’s a dessert you can make ahead of time. Being a lover of rich food I tend to make my servings quite large, usually too large for other people. In reality a little lemon posset goes a long way. A small bowl or even a shot glass of it is plenty when accompanied by some fruit and/or biscuits. It can also be a homely dessert or easily transformed into something rather posh (use espresso cups or wine glasses, top with crystallised lemon peel or icing sugar-dusted berries). Your guests will think you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all day.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: less than 10 mins plus 2-3 hours to set
Makes 6 adult servings
Keeps in the fridge for a day
600ml double cream
140g caster sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Put the cream and sugar in a large saucepan. Over a medium heat, slowly bring it to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it starts to boil, drop the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Take the saucepan off the heat.
Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Add the juice gradually (you might not need it all) and keep tasting it until you’re happy with the flavour.
Pour into 6 serving bowls and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.