The Ultimate Lemon Posset Recipe

A cup of lemon posset
Elaine Lemm
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Ratings (27)

Cooking is such fun as some recipes take only moments to make yet produce a stunning dish, the ultimate Lemon Posset is one such. The Posset is making a comeback and now the darling of quick, easy desserts and makes a quick and deliciously tangy pudding. It is perfect for spring and summer days, but so seriously delicious you should eat it anytime you like.

Originally a posset was a drink made from hot milk and honey, spiced and laced with ale or wine. It was popular in the Middle Ages as a remedy for colds and minor ailments and a sleep-aid. Posset appeared in Shakespeare's Macbeth when Lady Macbeth used a poisoned posset to knock out the guards outside Duncan's quarters. Later it became a thickened cream dessert, usually flavored with honey and lemon but do check out the alternatives to the traditional posset below.

Three ingredients make this a quick, easy and light dessert.

What You'll Need

  • 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 2 cups/425ml double heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup/125g caster superfine sugar

How to Make It

  • Finely grate the zest and juice the two lemons. Pour 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the lemon juice into a small saucepan. Add the grated zest and the caster sugar and stir.  Bring the mixture to a slow, gentle simmer and then leave to one side.
  • Bring the cream to a gentle boil. A heavy boil will spoil the cream and ruin the recipe. Slowly whisk in the syrup then strain into a clean jug. For a very tangy posset, don't strain.
  • Let the posset cool slightly then pour into small ramekins or glasses. Leave to cool completely then chill in the refrigerator for several hours. The cream will become a silky, thick cream.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and leave for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Traditionally a posset is served with slivers of toasted almonds but is also delicious with summer berries and Scottish Shortbread.

Variations on a Traditional Lemon Posset:

  • Lemon may well be the traditional posset, or at least the one we know nowadays. It is, however, lovely to ring the changes.
  • Change the citrus flavor by using lime juice instead.
  • Mix different citrus flavours - Lemon and clementine juice are wonderful.
  • Add a little vanilla extract to the cream and syrup mix. Be sparing though; vanilla can overpower and spoil the delicate lemon flavor.
  • In medieval times a posset would have honey, as well as spices, which though expensive at the time, were also much-loved flavors. Try a light grating of nutmeg (keep it very light). A pinch of ground ginger and for an autumnal feel, try a tiny pinch of mixed spice (known as Pumpkin Spice mix in the US.)
  • Add a little alcohol. A dash of sweet wine, Madeira, or for an authentic flavor - mead. Add the alcohol when whisking the syrup into the cream.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 367
Total Fat 29 g
Saturated Fat 18 g
Unsaturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 90 mg
Sodium 22 mg
Carbohydrates 28 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 3 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)