Traditionally a posset was a 19th century British hot milk drink that was curdled with ale or wine. These days a posset is a thickened cream dessert, flavored usually with lemon and honey (or sugar). It is a simple and very rewarding dessert that is quick and easy to prepare.
The cream used to make posset should be very thick and creamy otherwise the dessert will be too watery. In some recipes the sugar is dissolved in the cream as it is heated in a saucepan.
Recipe 1. Simple Lemon and Honey Posset
2 1/4 cups (500ml) very heavy or double cream
Juice of 3 lemons (cut the zest into thin strips to be used as a garnish)
1 tablespoon of honey (choose a strong flavored variety)
Note: Do not boil the posset vigorously as this will curdle the mixture, which ruins its appearance and texture.
Put the lemon juice, cream, and lemon zest into a saucepan and heat almost to boiling point. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to allow the lemon taste to infuse into the cream (about 30 minutes). Next, remove the zest by straining the cream through a fine sieve. Re-heat the cream and stir in the honey until well combined. Simmer the posset for gently for 5 minutes until the cream begins to thicken.
Pour the posset into serving dishes and chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator.
Recipe 2. Lemon Posset with Nutmeg and Almond Flakes
125 g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
425 ml (2 cups) heavy double cream
1 tablespoon flaked almonds, toasted
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon candied peel or grated lemon zest
Pinch of ginger
Extract the juice of the two lemons and collect the zest by scraping the skin. You will need about 100ml (1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Place the zest and juice into a small pan. Add the caster sugar and heat slowly to bring the mixture the the boil, stirring occasionally, to completely dissolved the sugar. Set aside but keep warm. Place the cream into a small, heavy saucepan, add the spices and heat to slowly bring the mixture to the boil (don't boil vigorously). Pour the cream mixture into the pan containing the syrup. Whisk thoroughly to combine and then filter the mixture through a sieve into a serving jug. Allow to cool, and then pour into serving bowls and then chill for 2-3 hours until set. Spring the almonds and peel on top just before serving.