Recipe: Lemon Posset

This traditional English cold dessert is inspired by recent Twitter discussions regarding my dislike of chocolate mousse based on unsavoury experiences. This discussion led to the talk of other cold desserts and here we are. I’m working my way through cold desserts and ultimately up to chocolate mousse.

As we approach the summer months (it already feels like it’s here), it seems like a good time to explore cold dessert territory and expand my knowledge of desserts, which aren’t baked goods.

The teacups were entirely because I still had my ramekins at my other house which I’m moving out of. It did increase the temptation to drink the posset out of it!

If you google posset, you’ll learn that it was a medieval drink of hot milk curdled with wine or ale.

Nowadays, it’s used to describe this cold set dessert consisting of three very simple ingredients: cream, sugar and lemon. The acidic lemon juice curdles the cream so that it’s able to set in a custard-y like jelly. It’s quite a rich dessert so only make small serves.

Makes: 4


  • 500 mL of cream
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. Heat the sugar and cream in a saucepan to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove form heat and stir in lemon juice.
  3. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into 4 glasses or bowls or ramekins or, in my case, teacups.
  4. Refrigerate until set (approx. 4 hours).


This super simple, easy-to-make dessert isn’t something you could whip up for last minute guests as it needs time to set. But, it’s easy enough to prepare so it can be left in the fridge while you deal with more important matters. I.e. making 2.5 kg of buffalo wings and chopping up (almost) an entire celery bunch…

You could top this with macerated berries, strawberries (which are in season and cheap) or even raspberries left to soak in equal parts Cointreau and icing sugar, i.e. 1 shot/30 mL of Cointreau and 1 1/2 tablespoons icing sugar with a punnet of strawberries.

*You may note I have 3 serves pictured above, I may have overboiled the cream in a too small pot resulting in some loss. Keep an eye on things so they don’t overboil.


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