This 3-Ingredient British Dessert Requires Zero Baking Skills|Recipes Spots

  • on August 3, 2023
This 3-Ingredient British Dessert Requires Zero Baking Skills

lemon posset
Simply Recipes / Getty Images

In the summertime, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven in the sweltering heat. That’s where this lemony posset comes in—it’s a no-bake custard that sets without cornstarch, eggs, or baking and magically comes together with just three ingredients: heavy cream, sugar, and lemons.

It’s almost too simple to prepare—stirred on the stovetop for just a few minutes, yet the end result is an elegant, creamy, softly set pudding that’s bright and delicious.

What Is a Posset?

Posset is a cream-based British custard that dates back to the Middle Ages. The magic of a posset is that the mixture thickens without any of the traditional ingredients used to make pudding, like egg yolk, flour, or cornstarch. There’s no need for gelatin or any other gelling agent to set the custard, as in panna cotta. The acidity in the lemon juice interacting with the heavy cream is what helps set it.

heavy cream, lemon, sugar
Simply Recipes / Stephanie Loo

How To Make Lemon Posset

To make six small portions of lemon possets you’ll need:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: lemon zest, berries, jam, or whipped cream for garnish

In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and sugar. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and making sure not to scorch the cream. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately stir in the lemon juice. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then, whisk the mixture one last time before dividing it equally between six ramekins or small cups.

Chill the uncovered possets in the refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. The possets should be served cold, straight from the fridge, and feel free to garnish with lemon zest, fresh berries, your favorite jam, or whipped cream before serving. 

Easy Lemon Pudding in three cups topped with berries
Sally Vargas

3 Tips For Making Posset

1. Use a different citrus: I’ve called for fresh lemon juice, but almost any citrus juice in equal parts will work. Note that if you use a less acidic citrus juice, the custard may not set as firmly. A mix of citrus juices like lemon and lime or orange and lemon will also work. 

2. Easy peasy, but it does need time to set: Though it only takes a few minutes on the stovetop to make, you will need to plan ahead as the posset needs a few hours to set up in the refrigerator. Plus, it’s light, refreshing, and best when served cold.

3. Make it interesting with toppings: This lemon posset is delicious on its own, but to make it extra special, add lemon zest, fresh berries, jam, or whipped cream atop each custard. Wait until you’re ready to serve before adding the toppings.

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