Medieval recipes, either sweet like this posset, or sweet and alcoholic like a syllabub, often hid under the mantle of ‘medicinal’, often starting with:—mylke ye cowe. This modern lemon posset is a delicious, cool, exquisitely creamy dessert–a cure only for the sweet-deprived. The cream is thickened by the fresh lemon, and that’s about all there is to it. Recipe below serves 4. Of course, anything this sweet and delectable was fair game in other times for mischief-making. As Lady Macbeth declares in Act II, during Duncan’s really bad night: the doors are open, the guards are snoring, “I have drugg’d their possets”.

• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2/3 cup sugar
• Zest from 1 lemon
• 6 tblsp fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

Stir together the cream, sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil, and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Watch carefully, stir frequently—avoid boil-over! Add lemon juice and simmer for 5 more minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. If you need a perfectly smooth dessert, then strain posset. If you like bits of lemon zest included, then just pour posset as is, into 4 small glass dishes or pretty glasses. Chill for several hours or overnight. To gild the lily—add fresh berries just before serving. (Recipe easily halves or doubles—just maintain ingredient ratios)

The Kitchen Hive

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