2 June, 2012

Lemon posset

Lemon posset with cherry compote

I’m a sucker for anything with lemon in it — it’s my favourite flavour. Lemon posset is utterly simple: just lemon, sugar, cream. It’s rather indulgent, so make small quantities and pair it with something more virtuous; I added hot cherry compote to the chilled possets, so that made them part of our five a day. Choose plain glasses to show off the pale, creamy possets, and serve with crisp biscuits, such as tuiles, langues de chat, or Maggie’s shortbread thins.

Ideally, make it 24 hours ahead, but I’ve chilled it for only four hours, and it’s still set, if less firmly.

These quantities will serve 4: choose small, plain, straight-sided glasses to serve.

2-3 lemons
400 ml double cream
110 g caster sugar

Finely grate the zest of 2 lemons into a heavy, non-reactive pan. Then squeeze the juice into a measuring jug. You need 100 ml, so if there isn’t enough in the 2 lemons, you’ll need a third. It’s important to have the right quantity, because it’s the lemon juice that makes the posset set.

Add the cream and the sugar to the lemon zest in the pan, bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Then strain through a sieve into a jug, pressing the zest with a wooden spoon to extract the flavour.

Pour into the four glasses and allow to cool slightly. Then cover with cling film and refrigerate until set, ideally overnight. Serve with cherry compote or other garnish of your choice.

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