This lemon and vanilla bean posset is the easiest English pudding and you need to know how to make it. Simple and delicious!
For another traditional no bake English dessert, take a look at our magnificent and easy Banoffee Pie.
If you are the type who’s never made a proper dessert apart from a fruit salad, this recipe is for you! Easy, delicious and despite an unusual name, posset tastes like a no-bake lemon cheesecake. And who doesn’t love a good cheesecake!
What is Posset?
Posset is an ancient British pudding, and lately it’s been experiencing a bit of renaissance here in England. I’ve been seeing it everywhere. New cookbooks, shiny magazine pages and social media.
I couldn’t wait to give a go myself but was too busy with my course work to busy myself in the kitchen. My husband knew nothing of this. He just chose to make it because it looked simple enough.
This pudding, and I use the word ‘pudding’ here as Brits do as in “anything sweet”, is some sort of magic. All you do is mix cream with citrus and pop it in the fridge, and somehow it sets and turns into heavenly cheesecake-like little bites!
Traditionally posset doesn’t have a crumb base but we decided it would be a welcome addition. If you make it without it, your posset will taste similar to a creamy mousse. Not too dissimilar to another British classic pudding a curd.
How to Make It
The method is quite simple. The only ingredients, needed for the success of the recipe, are heavy cream, lemon juice and sugar.
The lemon juice, when heated with the cream, does its job, and the posset sets into a silky smooth substance when chilled in a fridge.
To make it a bit more interesting, we’ve also add the juice of a grapefruit and vanilla bean. Feel free to use orange instead or lemon juice alone. You can also substitute the vanilla bean with liquid vanilla.
This pudding, infused with flavours of warm and comforting vanilla, then hit with bold lemon and cheeky grapefruit.
We filled all little cups and glasses we had around no matter shape or size! This way, when you are feeling peckish you can have a tiny glassful of lil something for your sweet tooth. No guilt!
More Traditional British Dessert Recipes:
For the base
- 50g/1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds
- 5 digestive biscuits or graham crackers
- 30g/2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
For the creamy filling
- 200ml/1 cup freshly squeezed juice of lemon and grapefruit combines approximately 1 grapefruit, 2-3 lemons
- 100g/1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla
- 600ml/2 ½ cups double cream/heavy whipping cream
- Toast the almonds in a dry pan over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Cool and chop. Crush biscuits into crumbs, mix in chopped nuts and melted butter. Fill glasses with the biscuit base and put in the fridge to chill.
- Zest grapefruit and lemons, cut them in half and juice into a measuring cup. Split your vanilla bean in half with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds out, add the seeds and the bean to the zest.
- In a small pot combine sugar, citrus juice, zest, vanilla bean and seeds, bring to a boil over medium heat, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 15 minutes until it turns into a syrup. It should coat your spoon when it's done but shouldn't be too thick.
- Take it off the heat, add cream and put it back on the stove, heat it gently over low heat while stirring for 10 minutes. Cream will thicken.
- Take it off the heat and strain the cream filling through a fine sieve to catch zest, vanilla bean and all other bits. This step will leave you with a silky smooth pudding.
- Take your cups and glasses out of the fridge and fill them with the cream mixture. Put them in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Serve garnished with orange, lime and lemon zest or white chocolate curls!
* Recipe slightly adapted from Jamie’s Great Britain by Jamie Oliver