One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.

-Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, "Pavarotti, My Own Story"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lemon Posset

I don't have much to say about this dessert, apart from two things:
1) It is almost impossible to photograph in an appealing manner.
2) It is supremely easy and has the most "bang for your buck" of any dessert that I've ever made from scratch. A few friends have commented that the recipes on this site are too complicated or take too long to make. Well, this one takes about five minutes. You simply simmer some cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves then stir in lemon juice. While the mixture hangs out for a few hours in the refrigerator, chilling, a small bit of culinary magic occurs: The lemon thickens the sweet cream to a lovely light consistency reminiscent of a pudding. The tang of the lemon perfectly offsets the richness of the cream.

This is a great dessert to make ahead of time when you're entertaining, as it can be pulled out of the fridge and served with no further work once it has chilled to the necessary consistency.

Lemon Posset
Adapted from the lovely blog stonesoup. My only change was to add a bit of vanilla but it's just as good without. Instead of the lemon and lime rind, you can top the posset with sliced, toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds or coconut. Serves 4.

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
3 tbsp (45 ml) lemon juice
1/4 fresh vanilla bean (optional)
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1/2 lime

1) (optional) With a sharp knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and stir them into the cream.

2) Combine the cream, vanilla and sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. 

3) Pour mixture into four small bowls or ramekins. Stir the lemon and lime zest together in a small bowl, then sprinkle this zest onto the desserts. Let cool.

4) Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, covered with foil or cling wrap.

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