I made this Citrus Posset for my Christmas Tea Party. I wanted a true English set dessert that played into my love of citrus and all cream based desserts. It’s light, creamy, citrusy and perfect! What’s a posset you ask? It’s a set cream dessert without any egg, unlike a custard.
HISTORY OF THE POSSET
The origins trace back for centuries to a warm drink that was used as a remedy for colds and aid in sleeping. Ever wonder why we drink warm milk before bed to help us sleep? Over time it evolved and by the 16th century, the Posset became the simple set dessert the Brits love. Three ingredients is all it takes – whole milk, sugar and citrus. You could say the Posset is cousin to Italy’s panna cotta. The difference is the setting agent. Panna cotta sets with gelatin while the Posset uses the citrus to set the cream. Some variations add eggs, breadcrumbs or cornstarch to thicken the cream, but the original is delicious.
zest of two lemons and a navel orange
juice of two lemons and half the navel orange
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 generous Tablespoon cornstarch
HERE’S HOW I MADE IT
Add the zest of two lemons and one navel orange to a sauce pot. Add 2 cups of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat and stir constantly with a spatula until the sugar has dissolved, about 10-12 minutes. You are looking for a slow bubbling boil, not a fast rolling boil, so depending on your burner, you may need to reduce the heat. While the cream comes to a boil, quickly juice two lemons and half orange and strain into a large Pyrex glass 4-cup measuring bowl. Add a generous tablespoon of cornstarch to the juice and whisk until completely dissolved.
Strain the boiling cream through a sieve directly into the Pyrex bowl and stir to combine with the citrus juices. Pour directly into your serving dishes and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours to set, best overnight. Recipe yields six servings. I filled six mini martini glasses and three ramekins.
If you are lactose intolerant, have you tried A2 Milk? A2 Milk comes from cows that don’t produce the enzyme that gives you all the gastro issues like A1 Milk does. If you’re vegan, use the milk alternative you like, such as silken tofu or non-dairy milk and cornstarch combination.
Remove from the refrigerator and just before serving and decorate with citrus wedges, fresh fruit, toasted almonds or your favorite topping for extra crunch and texture. I garnished with Del Monte Citrus Salad fruit I drained well and small basil leaves. When in England, I was served a small shortbread cookie with my posset so I could dip it. I added this lemon basil shortbread cookie with my posset.
I adapted this posset recipe from from Afternoon Tea At Home by Will Torrent. He added the orange zest and juice to the traditional posset and I love how the orange cuts the tartness of the lemon and makes this posset extra enjoyable.
A delicious cream based dessert from the United Kingdom. This is a perfect ending to any meal. Perfect for a tea party or brunch. Top with your favorite fruit, toasted almonds or serve with a cookie.
- zest of two lemons and one orange always zest before juicing
- juice of two lemons and half a navel orange
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 generous Tablespoon of cornstarch
Add the citrus zest and cream to a sauce pot. Slowly bring to a bubbling boil over medium-to-low-heat and cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and prevent the milk from burning.
Juice the lemons and half the navel orange and strain into a 4-cup Pyrex measuring container or another heat safe bowl. Add a generous tablespoon of cornstarch and whisk until completely dissolved in the juice.
Pour the hot cream through a sieve into the Pyrex container and whisk to blend well.
Pour into your serving containers and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, best overnight.
Serve with fresh citrus, berries, toasted almonds or any other topping of your choice. Serve with a shortbread cookie for dipping! Enjoy.
Recipe from Afternoon Tea At Home by Will Torrent
Note: If you want to thicken and set the posset, I would add a little cornstarch, about a tablespoon to help it set. Also, if adding vanilla extract, just add about 1/4 teaspoon since the vanilla can overpower the citrus flavor. You want the citrus flavor to be the star of the dessert.