Originally, a posset (also spelled poshotte and poshote) was an English dessert or hot drink made of curdled milk, sweetener, ale or wine or and spices like ginger and saffron. It was also a popular curative for colds or fevers in the medieval times up until the 19th century. These drinks were served warm and prepared in a special cup instead of the typical teapot. The cups were designed so that the liquid could be drunk from beneath the foam that develops on the surface. For more detailed history see the Posset write-up on the full wiki.
Today’s posset is much different than the medieval version. It is more of a dessert like custard that is best served cold. Basically, a posset contains three simple ingredients – honey, cream and lemon juice. Unlike custard that is considered unhealthy and time consuming to make, a posset is quite different. It is easy to make, contains premium ingredients and is infused with life-giving spring or summer flowers. The possibilities are almost endless. Try infusing your posset with rose petals, lilac, lavender, peonies or elderflowers. You can also caramelize the top to give the dessert a golden amber color. But the contrast of the flowers against the white posset is also beautiful.
This posset recipe is infused with stress relieving lavender buds. Serve cold with almond biscuits or shortbread such as Rejuvenating Matcha Shortbread.
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- 4 cups heavy cream or whipping cream (no substitutes*)
- ½ cup raw honey
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/3 cup)
- 4-5 organic lavender sprigs (be sure they are not sprayed with pesticides) see notes*
- Very small pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
- Tiny dash of cardamom (optional)
- 1/4 cup raw sugar for caramelizing the top (if desired)
- In a medium saucepan, add cream and honey
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir continually until honey is fully dissolved
- Reduce heat to a very low boil and cook for 3 minutes. Continue stirring to prevent burning
- Stir in lemon juice
- Stir in salt and cardamom, if desired
- Gently add in lavender sprigs. Infuse for at 10 minutes to one hour.
- Remove sprigs.
- Pour mixture into petite glasses or ramekins
- Cover tightly with cling film or lid and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight)
- Sprinkle1 to 2 teaspoons of raw sugar evenly on each custard. Using a torch, lightly torch the top moving in a circular pattern until all the surface is caramelized to a deep amber color (if desired)
- If possets are to firm, allow them to set at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving
- Garnish possets with lavender buds or sprigs
- Serve with almond biscuits or shortbread
- Do not substitute the heavy cream or whipping cream, the possets will not set up and will be runny.
- May substitute lavender with other flowers such as rose petals, lilac, peonies or elderflowers.
- See instructions for caramelizing the top.
Lavender posset with spoon: shutterbean inside via photopin (license)
Two bowls of lavender posset: shutterbean honey lavender posset via photopin (license)
Lavender posset and nice tablecloth: shutterbean honey lavender posset via photopin (license)
Field of lavender: Virginia McMillan lavender courtyard via photopin (license)
Lavender posset w/out amber top (no torching): Agents of Field