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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: My Homemade Lemon Posset recipe is a perfect elegant lemony dessert for summertime that couldn’t be more simple to make — seriously, the hardest part is waiting for it to chill!
Lemon Posset is a traditional English dessert that is unbelievably simple and so delicious. A little lemon juice is stirred into hot, sweetened cream to perfect a perfectly set, thick, lemony pudding. Yes, this creamy treat only needs three ingredients — four if you want to make it a bit more elegant by garnishing it with fresh berries.
Homemade lemon posset only takes about ten minutes to prepare and needs some time to sit in the fridge to cool and set, which I personally think makes it one of the best make-ahead desserts of the summer.
The lemon flavor and cool creamy texture of posset make for one seriously refreshing dessert. This recipe makes five servings, but even if you don’t have that many mouths to feed, it keeps in the fridge for three days! Feel free to have it after dinner whenever you want.
What Is Lemon Posset?
Lemon Posset is made with just lemon, sugar, and heavy whipping cream. It has a fairly similar texture to a Panna Cotta or a Creme Brûlée; panna cotta is made with gelatin, and creme brulee relies on eggs to set. There are no thickening agents added to posset. Rather, it uses the citrus of the lemons to set itself! Imagine a dessert somewhere between a mousse and a pudding — one where all you can taste is that wonderful lemon flavor.
While we enjoy posset cold today, it was originally served hot to treat colds and other minor illnesses! The hot drink was made by curdling milk with wine or ale and was spiced. Some people still have their posset hot; it makes for a great drink before bedtime.
How Does Posset Set?
Posset is an excellent example of science at work in dessert form — and for that reason, I don’t recommend experimenting too much with this recipe, as it is a fairly delicate balance. The heat, fat, sugar, and acid must work together to get the perfect texture. The heat creates a firmer, creamier texture, the fat reacts with the acid to form the fine curd, the sugar sweetens and keeps the curd smooth instead of lumpy, and the acid, in the correct ratio, keeps the posset from becoming grainy.
Tools You Need To Make Lemon Posset
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Lemon Posset
- Cream can burn or boil over quite quickly when simmering — be sure to stay close and keep an eye on it.
- You can also make this with lime or orange instead of lemon (or a combination)!
- For this recipe, don’t make any adjustments. It is a delicate balance of heat, fat, sugar, and acid. Please see my note above under the section “How Does Posset Set?”
- Make mini lemon pies: press my Graham Cracker Crust into the bottom of 5 serving bowls or ramekins. Top with the posset and chill.
- This is nice served with my simple 3-Ingredient Shortbread.
- Add a floral twist by stirring in a teaspoon or two of lavender buds into the cream and sugar while it’s heating. Strain out just before pouring them into the serving bowls.
Make More Pudding
- Scratch-Made Pistachio Pudding
- Your Go-To Tapioca Pudding Recipe
- Avocado Chocolate Pudding
- The Creamiest American-Style Chocolate Pudding
- Simple Chocolate Rice Pudding (Champorado)
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Homemade Lemon Posset Recipe
- 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup (6 oz/170 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Fresh berries, for serving
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Let the mixture gently boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat if need be so that the mixture doesn’t burn or boil over.
- Remove from the heat and let wait 1 minute. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Let cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
- Give the posset a gentle stir, then divide among 5 small serving bowls.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, until cold and set. It can remain in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serve with fresh berries.