Credit: Earl Carter

Lemon posset with Chantilly cream

Andrew McConnell is the executive chef and co-owner of Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc, Marion, Gimlet and Supernormal. He is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

Credit: Earl Carter

I was thinking this morning I felt like a bit of a cad presenting a recipe that is so effortless. Often, though, I get criticised more for complexity – so I thought, why not?

I think it’s good to get away from contemporary desserts – gelatines, contemporary flavours. This dessert has its origin in the Middle Ages, and began as a warm milk drink. Eventually it evolved into a dessert that was curdled, often with alcohol.

There are other iterations where almonds and egg yolks have been used to thicken the milk or cream. In this recipe, though, the thickening agent is also the flavouring agent: lemon juice.

The only other flavour of note in this instance is the flavour of the cream, so a good-quality cream is essential. Bulla cream is a trustworthy staple on many shelves, but there are also a number of Jersey organic and bio-organic creams on the market. If you’re going to cook this more than once, I would recommend trying different creams to see how they affect the flavour.

I haven’t been making posset for long. But I have been intrigued by it – the simplicity of a recipe with only three ingredients. The first time I cooked it, I was happy and baffled by the fact that it actually worked.

On that occasion, I served it by itself. But after a bowl of sweetened, extremely rich, delicious dessert, I realised I needed something to cut through the sweetness. Some fresh raspberries are a great addition in that sense.


Serves 6

  • 900ml thickened cream
  • 250g castor sugar
  • 120ml lemon juice
  • Chantilly cream (recipe below)


  1. Combine the thickened cream and castor sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for three minutes, stirring constantly so that the cream doesn’t boil over.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour in the lemon juice, stirring well. Taste the cream and add a little more lemon juice if you would like it to taste sharper.
  3. Leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then stir once more and pour into six small bowls. Set the posset overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Top the posset with Chantilly cream and a little lemon zest before serving.

Chantilly cream

  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1½ tbsp icing sugar
  • zest of ½ lemon

Whip the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on April 1, 2017 as "The posset account".

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