There’s no getting away from it, we are really and truly in the depths of winter. Eventhough the shortest day has passed and we are apparently heading towards longer lighter days, it certainly doesn’t feel like it – even on the normally lovely sun-drenched island of Jersey. Recovering from the ravages of storms Desmond and Frank whilst sheltering by the fire, we find our minds turning repeatedly to the heady days of summer, strolling through our gorgeous fields of gently swaying lavender and breathing in that amazingly heady fragrance. However, no joy, the fields are still bare.
But despair not! We can still transport ourselves straight to a perfect summer’s day, all with the aid of a sprinkling of our lovely dried culinary lavender . Why not use a little to make our lovely Lavender and Lemon Posset recipe below – then simply close your eyes and transport yourself to the sun (even if you are wearing 3 jumpers and thermal socks!).
The posset is a simple little dessert that when properly made is a smooth and delicate delight, although the traditional posset that we know today is a very different dish from it’s 15th century origins. A very popular concoction, possets are mentioned through history, for example in the Journals of the House of Lords of 1620 it is mentioned that King Charles I was given a posset to drink by his physician. Possets are also featured several times in Shakespeare, including mentions in Hamlet, Lady Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
However these historical possets would resemble more of drink that consisted of curdled milk that was sweetened with sugar and some form of alcohol – the most popular being ‘sack’, a type of sweetened also not dissimilar to sherry. By the 18th century the posset had developed into something a little more similar to our modern possets, although they were still more of drink and were thickened with either bread, biscuits, almonds or egg yolks. It was only towards the end of this period that we see possets being thickened and flavoured with lemon, or other citrus, juice.
Lavender and Lemon Posset
- Place 600ml double cream and 150g caster sugar and 1 teaspoon (or more to your taste) of dried culinary lavender in a large pan and over a low heat slowly bring the mixture to the boil
- Boil the mixture for 3 minutes then remove from the heat and allow it to cool a little, then strain to remove the lavender buds.
- Whisk in the juice and zest of 2 large lemons and then pour the mixture into 6 serving glasses or ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.