Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset

A posset is a very old drink which dates from the Middle Ages. It was originally a milky drink used as a cure for minor illnesses. Wine was frequently used to curdle the flavoured/spiced milk. Nowadays, possets are generally dense cream desserts made with cream, sugar and citrus fruits. This is the classic recipe, made with lemon.


  • 300 ml double cream (must be double cream)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • juice of 1-2 lemons


  1. Add the cream to a saucepan with the sugar and bring slowly to the boil. Stir constantly to ensure the sugar dissolves.
  2. When the cream reaches a gentle boil, reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring all the time.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the juice of 1 lemon. The mixture should begin to thicken. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary. The mixture should be sweet but very fresh and tangy.
  4. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then pour into 4 shot glasses or espresso cups. Bang the glasses/cups to remove air bubbles.
  5. When cool, chill overnight, or at least 3 hours before serving. Take out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.


10 Responses to “Lemon Posset”

  1. 1 italian foodie July 4, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    o yum!! you had me at lemon:) Must try this, very simple, I’m a bit lazy when it comes to desserts…

  2. 2 Conor July 5, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Well this is perfect for you. Just three ingredients. The only disadvantage is that you really have to chill it overnight. Marcus Wareing has a recipe where he serves this with a spiced berry compote. Sounds like a nice addition.

  3. 3 adel July 6, 2009 at 2:11 am

    interesting one, milk and lemon, sounds a bit like buttermilk in the making? i really have no knowledge on dessert making, just wondering 🙂

  4. 4 Conor July 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Err. Well, I guess there is something “buttermilky” going on. The lemon thickens the cream and sets it.

    This is great with some posh biscuits (amarreti, boudoir fingers) on the side. You could also crumble some amaretti on top of the cups, like an upside-down cheesecake.

  5. 5 s. stockwell July 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Very interesting? we are going to make this. Your photo is great and we love the post. best from California, s

  6. 6 Conor July 6, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for the comment Sherry. I hope you enjoy it. Just remember to serve it in small portions as it’s quite rich.

  7. 7 Keri July 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I made lemon posset for the first time as a rehearsal for a dinner party I’m doing next week. I boiled the cream and sugar for a few minutes and then added the lemon juice and they have been in the fridge for over 24 hours now and just don’t seem to be setting. What am i doing wrong???

  8. 8 Conor July 6, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Keri. Did you add enough lemon juice? Did you let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, in order to thicken it?

  9. 9 Keri July 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Well, i was worried I maybe added too much lemon juice, i did add a little lime juice too – do you think that could have made a difference? i did let it simmer and it boiled up, but maybe i didnt do that for long enough?

  10. 10 Conor July 8, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I don’t think the lime juice would have done that. It looks like you didn’t let it simmer for long enough. It’s the combination of the lemon and the simmering that thickens the cream. Try the method I’ve outlined above and let me know how you go. It really is worth it.

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