The name suggests a small creature that might bite you while you are camping in the American wilderness, but it is in fact a very English pudding. Not only traditional, but very simple and such a refreshing treat at the end of a heavy meal. It involves nothing more than fresh double cream, sugar and lemons (or other citrus fruits). Quick, simple and always a favourite. What’s not to like? I also think it fits very well into the “rediscovery” of traditional British food that is on the go at the moment, particularly given that it doesn’t break the bank.
I served this yesterday at the end of an Asian-inspired meal, as I though the sharp lemon kick would be welcome after the various flavours of the evening (satay sauce, curry, raita, coriander sauce, ginger, garlic…), but would keep the aromatic theme of the evening. It went down very well, served together with orange-scented almond cookies. The result is sharp and tangy, so you need to like your lemons if you make this.
For the lemon posset (to make 8 small portions):
• 500ml double cream
• 150g caster sugar
• 2 unwaxed lemons (rind and juice only)
Put the cream, sugar and lemon rind into a saucepan (ideally, grate the rind straight into the pot with the cream – this will also capture some of the lemon oil and help the flavour). Bring to the boil, and cook for three minutes. Keep an eye on the mixture to make sure that it does not burn.
Strain the mixture to remove the lemon rind, and add the lemon juice (I prefer to also strain the lemon juice separately to remove any pulp – not essential, but makes for a smoother result). I used about 160ml of juice for this recipe.
Stir well, and pour into glasses or small bowls. Smaller is better, as the result is quite rich.
Worth making? Yes, definitely. This always goes down a treat, and is super-easy to make. If you have a meal to plan and don’t have time for a fancy pudding, then posset is the way to go. You can also experiment, using lime rather than lemon for a fresher taste, or even use herbs (such as rosemary) in place of the lemon rind to infuse the cream mixture. I’ve had this once with lemon verbena and the result was delicious.