In case you noticed “lemon curdled cream” listed on a dessert menu, you’d most likely move over it in favor of lava cake. Understandably: “Curdled” is an inherently unsexy phrase. However whereas not all curdling is fascinating, there are a lot of cases wherein curdled dairy is a good factor. Cheese is an enormous one. This candy, creamy, 4-ingredient lemon posset is one other.
Posset has been round endlessly. Woman MacBeth even used poisoned possets to incapacitate the guards outdoors Duncan’s room, however the dessert appeared slightly totally different in Shakespearean occasions. As a substitute of a chilly set creamy dessert, the unique posset was a sizzling, spiced drink product of milk curdled with wine or ale.
The fashionable iteration is served chilled and curdled with lemon juice, however the science is similar: Milk and cream comprise a protein referred to as casein. This molecule has a unfavourable cost that repels different casein molecules, permitting the proteins to drift round with out clumping. Whenever you add an acidic ingredient, resembling wine or lemon juice, you introduce positively charged protons (hydrogen ions) into the answer, neutralizing the unfavourable cost on the proteins and permitting them to amass and kind curds.
And that’s actually all there may be to creating posset. You boil some heavy cream with sugar, then add lemon juice and let it sit till tiny curds kind, leading to a tangy, candy dessert with a texture just like crème brûlée. It’s pleasant—nearly like key lime pie filling, if key lime pie was flavored with lemons, or a tender lemon pudding made with out corn starch, flour, eggs, gelatin, or another thickening brokers.
There are many recipes for lemon posset—they’ve been perfecting it since Shakespearean occasions, in spite of everything—however I based mostly my very own off of this one from Food52, because it was one of many extra streamlined (lazy) recipes I discovered. Some posset recipes name for zesting the fruit or making a syrup, and I didn’t need to do any of that.
I did, nonetheless, need to get slightly little bit of tangerine juice concerned earlier than citrus season fully wraps up. So I used 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a pair of tablespoons of tangerine juice, moderately that 5 tablespoons of pure lemon juice as steered by Food52. (Be happy to mess around by substituting in varied citrus juices. You may even use key limes.)
This recipe is simple to execute, however you do have to concentrate to the cream. It’s not unusual to search out globs of butterfat floating round in heavy cream, and also you need to be sure to pressure these out. In case you depart them in and warmth them together with the remainder of the cream, the fats will soften after which solidify on high of your posset, creating a skinny, greasy movie. It’s not the top of the world, however will probably be noticeable. You’ll additionally need to regulate the cream the complete time it’s boiling, as dairy can boil over shortly.
Aside from that, the one factor you must fear about is ending your posset. Contemporary raspberries pair properly with lemon, however you may additionally add a dollop of raspberry jam, some unsweetened whip cream, or a shortbread cookie for dipping. You may even brûlée it if you happen to like, although you have to a torch (or dependable broiler) for that.
Lemon and Tangerine Posset
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup contemporary lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons contemporary tangerine juice
Measure out the cream, ensuring to pressure away any clumps of butter fats. Add the cream to a small sauce pan with the sugar, then deliver to a boil over medium warmth, watching continuously and stirring to soften the sugar. Let boil for 5 minutes, then take away from the warmth and stir within the juice.
Let the combination cool for quarter-hour, then divide amongst 4 ramekins, or tea cups, or these little bodega glasses (which is what I did). Chill within the fridge for at the very least two hours, and serve chilly with no matter ending touches you want.