Lemon Posset (With Cardamom Ginger Cookies) is a three-ingredient classic English Lemon Dessert. A simple and elegant dessert that takes only 10 minutes to cook, this is my go-to dessert for most of my summer entertaining.
This Modern Creamy Lemon Posset is far removed from the 18th Century Posset Shakespeare writes of in Macbeth. The ancient Posset of the Middle Ages was a warming drink made with milk, wine, honey, and spices, often used for medicinal purposes.
With just three ingredients and 10 minutes of cooking, this chilled dessert is a favorite. I love having chilled desserts like Creme Anglaise, fresh homemade vanilla bean ice cream, lemon curd, or a delicious lemon tart in the summer.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Just three ingredients - If you hate recipes with a long, complex list of ingredients, you'll love this one.
- No gelatin - No gelatin means this is the perfect vegetarian, halal, and kosher recipe.
- Gluten-free - It's often hard to find gluten-free dessert recipes when needed, so save this!
- Make ahead - This lemon posset can stay in your fridge for up to three days so that you can make it a day (or two) before your next big party.
- Beautiful - There are many ways to garnish and present this dessert; no matter how you serve it, it will always look gorgeous on your table.
- Heavy whipping cream - The fat content in the cream directly affects the consistency of the posset. Traditionally, the recipe calls for double cream, which has a fat content of 48%. In the USA, we use heavy whipping cream, which has only 36%-40%. This is why reducing the cream for this Lemon Posset recipe is essential.
- Sugar - I use regular granulated sugar for my posset. If you want to look into an alternative source, read on!
- Lemons - Regular seasonal lemons work for this recipe. The only variety that may require modification to this recipe is Meyer lemons. If that's all you can find, reduce the amount of sugar slightly.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Substitutions & variations
- Swap out the garnish - I've used fresh seasonal berries in this recipe. Some other garnish options are lemon peel, flaked almonds, lavender, edible flowers, chocolate shavings, or my recipe for easy-plum-jam-recipe-without-pectin.
- Use different citrus - The posset tastes delicious with any Citrus flavor, such as orange or grapefruit.
- Add a different sugar - Use honey, a combination of honey and sugar, or an artificial sweetener, such as monk fruit sweetener, for this lemon posset recipe.
- Add some extra flavor - Try a flavored sugar, such as vanilla, add some spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or add a dash of sweet wine as a homage to the Shakespearean version of this dessert.
- Serve it as a palate cleanser - Lemon Posset in small 2-ounce portions can be a great palate cleanser between courses.
Step 1 - Combine the cream, lemon zest, and caster sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Step 2 - Simmer the mixture over medium heat till the cream is reduced to 2 cups.
Step 3 - Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice to the cream mixture, stirring continuously until it thickens into a smooth custard.
Step 4 - Your lemon posset is ready to be poured into the serving glasses as soon as the mixture coats the back of your spoon,
NOTE: Ensure the posset is at room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. Let it chill for at least six hours before garnishing it to serve.
While the posset is chilling, you can prepare these easy cardamom ginger cookies to serve with it.
Step 5 - Take a pre-made sheet of pie dough (any brand will do) and roll it out with a rolling pin.
Step 6 - Using a small biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out circles and place them on a baking sheet.
Step 7 - Spread some egg wash on all the cookies, followed by a sprinkle of sugar, cardamom powder, and ginger powder.
Step 8 - Bake the cardamom ginger cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, or until they turn crisp.
- Make sure to use heavy whipping cream - The acid in the lemon adheres to this fat and thickens the posset. If your cream doesn't have enough fat, the posset won’t thicken properly.
- Reduce the Cream Mixture to exactly 2 cups - I like using a saucepan with marked cup sizes to ensure that I measure and reduce my cream perfectly. A proper reduction ensures that the fat content in the cream is perfect and the posset will set well.
- Make sure your lemons are sour - The acidity in the lemon juice is the second most important thing when it comes to the posset setting well. If your lemons are not sour enough, you may have to add an extra tablespoon to the mixture.
- Don't adjust the sugar - The sugar melts and becomes glossy, helping create a silky texture. If you change the amount, it may affect the texture of the Lemon Posset.
- Serve it in small amounts - As rich as the posset is, a little bit goes a long way, so I like to set mine in small 3- 4 ounce portions.
- Simmer, never boil - Boiling the cream can cause it to split. After the first boil, simmer it till it reduces to 2 cups.
- Use an immersion blender -Sometimes, the cream can curdle slightly after adding the lemon juice. An easy fix is to use an immersion blender to smooth out the posset.
Due to the lack of gelatin, a posset can only last for up to 3 days, maximum, in the fridge.
This perfect make-ahead dessert is wonderful for an Easter or Mother’s Day Brunch, an afternoon tea party, or a summer barbecue.
If frozen pie crust isn't available, use shortcrust dough or store-bought shortbread cookies.
Some recipes ask that you strain the posset after it thickens, for a really silky texture. However, I simply use a very fine grater, which helps me skip this step. By the time the posset is ready, the zest is barely visible.
Other recipes you may like
For more Pakistani recipes like this, check out 20 popular Pakistani recipes. If you decide to try this recipe, Please don't forget to leave a rating and comment below! If you take a picture then tag me on Instagram! Thank You!
Lemon Posset with Cardamom Ginger Cookies
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 ⅔ cup granulated sugar (see notes)
- 2 lemons zested
- 6 tbsp lemon juice (see notes)
Cardamom Ginger Cookies
- ½ frozen pie crust
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 12 raspberries
- 4 strawberries
- 4 sprigs mint
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- Zest 2 lemons.
- Juice about 4 large lemons to get the 6 tablespoons of juice and set it aside.
- Add the cream, sugar and lemon zest to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat till the mixture is boiling.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook till the mixture is reduced to 2 cups (about 8-12 minutes).
- Once the mixture is reduced, turn the heat off, remove the pan from the stove, and add in the lemon juice, stirring constantly till the cream thickens.
- Do so now if you want to strain the cream to remove the zest. (see notes)
- Divide the lemon posset into four glasses or ramekins and cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming on top as the posset comes to room temperature.
- Once the dessert is at room temperature, place it in the fridge and chill for a minimum of 6 hours so it can set.
Cardamom Ginger Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the sugar, ginger and cardamom in a bowl and set aside.
- Defrost and unroll 1 sheet of a frozen 9" pie crust.
- Using a small 2" biscuit cutter cut out as many circles as you can and place them on the cookie sheet. (see notes)
- Beat the egg and brush it on the cookies.
- Sprinkle the spiced sugar mixture generously on the buttered cookies.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until the cookies are a light tan color and seem to have crisped up.
Garnishing The Posset
- Once the Posset is chilled, slice the strawberries and place one along with a few raspberries in each glass.
- Place a cookie alongside the berries.
- Add a sprig of mint.
- sprinkle some powdered sugar on top using a small mesh sieve and serve.