Food52sday Recipe Interpretation: Lemon Posset with Blueberry Gelée

Lemon Posset with Blueberry GeleeI had a great time playing with the posset possibilities. The Posset-bilities, as it were. Even though this is a cream-based dessert, the flavor was bright and lemony and absolutely would work well with lime and maybe even passion fruit, although I haven't tried it.

Since we had lovely blueberries from our produce box, and since lemon and blueberries go together like Forrest and Jenny, I made a quick blueberry gelée to pair with the posset. If that sounds scary, don't let it intimidate you. I just cooked down blueberries with some sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Once it was all bubbly and lovely, I pressed it through a fine mesh strainer--I didn't even need to blend it first since I'd been smashing the wee berries all along as they cooked---and then added some gelatin bloomed in a tablespoon of cold water. That was it.

Mrslarkin's original posset recipe called for only three ingredients: cream, sugar and lemon juice. I added salt and finished it with a splash of vanilla, just to round out the flavor. I had a bit of a revelation about the posset as I was boiling the cream and sugar together. The burbling mixture looked and smelled like sweetened condensed milk (SCM) which made me think that key lime pie filling is just a posset enriched with egg yolk. The yolks make the posset sliceable and therefore suitable for a pie filling. Without the yolks, the posset sets to a creamy pudding-like consistency. Spoonable, but not sliceable. But lighter on the palate without the yolks. My next experiment is to see if SCM will thicken up with the addition of acid but without being heated up. I'm thinking yes, and if that's so, this might just be the easiest dessert idea ever. Whisk together some SCM and lemon or lime juice with a touch of salt and then pour into Vessels. Chill for at least 2 hours. That's it. (I found a no-cook posset, here. I haven't tested it, but at least I know one exists. Yay)!

I'm not saying it will definitely work, but I'm going to give it a shot. For now though, know that the posset as written does work and is Delightful. It's perfect on its own, so the blueberry gelée really is gilding the lily.

Lemon Posset with Blueberry Gelee But what fun is it to leave the lilies alone, I ask you?

Here's what I did.

Lemon Posset with Blueberry Gelée
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
Make the gelee, or leave it off. Or make it with strawberries. But, you won't find an easier from-scratch dessert than the posset. Do give it a try.
What You Need
For the Posset
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 7½ Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the (Optional) Gelée
  • 8oz. fresh blueberries
  • 2½ Tablespoons sugar
  • heavy pinch of salt--seriously. Probably almost ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • zest from ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (no need to measure--a squirt or two will do)
  • ½ teaspoon plain gelatin bloomed in 1 Tablespoon of cold water
What To Do
For the Posset
  1. In a pan that is much larger than you need, heat the cream and sugar over medium-high heat.
  2. Add a bit of salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat down and let the cream simmer for 5 minutes. Watch the cream carefully and remove from the heat if it looks like it's going to boil over. See notes.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
  5. Let sit for fifteen minutes, then transfer to a large liquid measure and pour into serving vessels of choice.
  6. Refrigerate until the tops are firm, about 30 minutes, before topping with about a Tablespoon or so of the gelée. Then, refrigerate for at least another 2 hours and preferably overnight before serving.
For the Gelée
  1. Place all the ingredients except for the gelatin and cold water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and cook, smashing down on the berries so they release their juices.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat so that the berries simmer happily for about half an hour, or until the mixture gets slightly syrupy.
  4. Strain the berries through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down hard on the solids. You will have about ¾ cup of puree.
  5. Whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Cool to room temperature before using.
Other Stuff to Know
Cream doesn't have the surface tension of water, so it looks and behaves differently than water. It boils up and will boil over, even if you have 6 inches of head room in your pan. I brought the cream to a boil over high heat. Before it came to a full boil (it'll look like a bunch of folks kicking their feet under the covers rather than bubbles actually bursting on the surface), I turned it down to medium low (for me, that's the magic number 3). Even so, for the first minute or so, I pulled the cream off the heat every few seconds, just to make sure it wasn't going to get away from me. After the first minute or so, the boiling action subsided to an all-over gentle bubbling and I was able to look away from it every once in awhile. If you want to have the gelée on the bottom, pour it in and refrigerate for at least an hour before pouring in the posset mixture over the back of a spoon. Cook time is for the gelee plus the posset. If you're just making the posset, it'll probably only take about 10-12 minutes on the stove.

 Lemon Posset with Blueberry GeleeIf you don't want to go the gelée route, just pile on some fresh berries after the posset sets up. I made that fancy-schmancy angle by setting the glass in a cake pan before pouring in the posset.

I'm telling you guys, this Food52sdays series is the Most Fun Ever. Every recipe inspiration has been great, and we have honestly enjoyed every interpretation we've come up with.  If you cooked along this week, please post your link in the comments or over on the facebook fan page. If you haven't participated yet, I hope you decide to--it really is a lot of fun.

Oh look! The lovely Terra from Cafe Terra made a great lime/strawberry version over at her place. Nice!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.


  1. says

    Oh I am so joining in your fun, this recipe is gorgeous!  I have never heard the word Posset, but I love it:-) I have some limes and strawberries, so heading to the kitchen to make my version:-)  I will share on my site today:-) Hugs, Terra

  2. Bronwyn says

    Mmmm posset is delicious. Not sure about the vanilla or salt (and I add salt to most things), it is very very yummy just with the cream, sugar, and lemon juice.

    • says

      To his his own, Bronwyn, and if it’s wonderful with just 3 ingredients, why add 2 more? 🙂 I like how the vanilla rounds out the flavor, but it is totally a personal preference. 

  3. Maggie says

    About SCM thickening just from the addition of acid — yes, definitely. My mom used to make a 1950s-era dessert that was a type of icebox pie, and the filling was just SCM with lemon juice added. It thickened, though not quite as much as the filling for key lime pie… I’d call it semi-sliceable.

    I’d sure love to hear what your fervid little brain could do with that idea…


  1. […] Lemon Posset with Blueberry Gelee As far as desserts go, posset is one of the easiest: cream, sugar and lemon juice cooked together. Think of it like key lime pie filling without the egg. Intense and perfect, it’s complemented with a layer of mellow blueberry gelee. You could also lose the gelee and just serve it with some blueberry jam or fresh whole blueberries. […]

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