k Zesty Lemon Posset with limoncello jelly k
Spring in Ibiza is abundant with beautiful lemon and orange groves, many people have these trees growing in their gardens and last week I came home with a basket laden with lemons. There is something to be said about lemons hand picked straight from the tree, I have just planted a lemon tree in our garden so we will have our own supply next year.
Only three ingredients are used in this classic British recipe (the posset part), lemons, sugar and cream and they produce one of the best and easiest desserts you will ever eat that is perfect for a spring or summer’s day. To make this recipe a bit more healthy I use lactose free cream, raw cane sugar and agave in the jelly – it’s only my preference.
I have adapted this recipe to include a layer of lip smacking limoncello jelly, I wanted to balance the tartness with a ‘bit extra’. It looks so pretty in the glass dishes, adds an impressive dimension to a classic and gives it an Ibiza element as Limoncello is often given as a complimentary digestif in many restaurants here after a meal.
Although very easy to make, this is a dessert that needs to be made in advance. The posset part only takes ten minutes to prepare so if you are pushed for time you can leave out the jelly layer and perhaps just serve it with a scattering of berries. Likewise, you can do things the other way around and just make the jelly. I often do this in a shot glass with raspberries or blueberries set in the jelly, which are great for parties.
After quite a lot of experimentation I have got the consistency of the jelly just right. It’s a bit tricky getting the levels of gelatine right due to the alcohol content, I also prefer it to be less sweet to make a zingy contrast to the posset.
Ingredients for posset part (serves 6)
400ml double cream (in Ibiza use 35% Nata lactose free)
150g raw cane organic sugar (or caster sugar)
Zest 2 organic lemons, plus 100ml lemon juice
Ingredients for the jelly
3 gelatine leaves (or the equivalent in agar agar)
1 tablespoon agave (or 25g caster sugar)
Zest of half a lemon and 2 tablespoons juice
Thin slices of lemonquat (or fresh lemon) to decorate
Method for the posset
1. Finely grate the zest of one of the lemons, then juice – I got 100ml from just one lemon (it was a big beauty).
2. Put the juice and zest into a small pan with the sugar over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Keep warm.
3. Pour the cream into a small, heavy-bottomed pan and heat gently until it comes to the boil. Pour into the syrup, whisking to combine – then pour through a sieve into a jug and divide between glasses or little dishes of your choice. Cool to room temperature then carefully cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 4 hours fully set.
Method for the jelly
1. Put the gelatine leaves into a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 10 minutes until softened. Meanwhile in a pan heat 150ml water with the agave (or sugar), lemon juice and zest for 5 minutes on gentle simmer. Remove from the heat.
2. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and stir into the hot lemon syrup until melted. Finally stir in the limoncello and pass through the4. sieve to remove any pips and lemon zest – leave the liquid jelly cool until it reaches room temperature.
3. Pour the jelly over the chilled lemon possets and chill until set which is approximately 4 hours. I like to decortate with lemonquats, pretty baby lemons that are seasonal in spring, but regular lemons are just fine. Then finish off with a little edible flower – voila!