This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
I don’t remember where I heard of it… but Lemon Posset seemed a wonder. A rich, tart, flavorful dessert made entirely from lemons, sugar and cream.
I researched, and cooked, and waited eagerly for the unveiling … which fulfilled all of its promise!
From Lemon Posset to Lemon Posset Tart
But there was one problem. With cream comprising the bulk of the dessert, it was loaded with calories. And since heavy cream is part of the chemistry, there was no subbing something lighter.
What is a Posset?
According to Wikipedia, “A posset was originally a popular British hot drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale, often spiced, which was often used as a remedy. In the 16th century the drink evolved into a cream, sugar and citrus-based confection, which is still consumed today as a cold set dessert”
But the real question is why doesn’t the whole thing just turn into a runny curdled mess?
Well, apparently there is science behind this. According to Molecular Gastronomy Adventure, “The difference between milk and cream is the fat content. … my personal hypothesis is that the presence of fat molecules prevents the casein from creating large clumps. I believe that the casein must clump slightly; the acid in the lemon neutralizes the casein’s negative charges BUT fat molecules prevent large visible clumps. Lemon posset has a thicker, smoother texture because of the small clumps of caseins.”
Why You’ll Love This!
I truly believe this is one of the world’s best kept secrets. It really is all of the following:
A Sensory Delight. That is great flavor, creamy texture. Think lemon mousse atop a delicate graham crust.
Simple. Just five ingredients. Even with the crust. Yes, I may never make jokes about the 5-ingredient movement again.
Elegant. With its custardy creaminess and bright tartness, you can’t help but make an impression with this. Just keep the 5-ingredient part to yourself.
Gluten Free. With a crust made from Nairn’s Oat Grahams and a filling that doesn’t need starch to thicken, this dessert is gluten free. I can’t wait to host book club again!
What You’ll Need
I received and used some wonderful ingredients from our sponsors for this recipe! These included Meyer Lemons from Melissa’s Produce, sugar from Dixie Crystals and oat grahams (I used the Stem Ginger) from Nairn’s.
Yes, this totally put me in the spring spirit. From the beautiful fresh produce box (in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, no less) to the case of (always GMO-free) cane sugar, and some addicting oat grahams, this could help anyone make something special! So enter to win some of your own below!
- Nairn Oat Graham Crumbs. This forms the bulk of the tart crust. Just a heads up that the first time I made it I used conventional boxed graham cracker crumbs and the flavor somewhat overpowered the lemon filling. The Nairn oat grahams have a more delicate and nuanced flavor that worked beautifully in this. If I couldn’t get these I’d probably go with a shortbread crust instead of a regular graham cracker.
- Butter. Butter helps the crumbs adhere.
- Sugar. Sugar dds sweetness and melts during baking to help the crust hold together. And it adds sweetness, balance and structure to the filling.
- Lemon (juice and zest). The zest adds flavor without adding liquid and the lemon juice adds flavor and creates the chemical reaction that thickens the cream.
- Heavy Cream. This forms the bulk of the dessert and provides a rich creaminess. In Britain they often use double cream, which has an even higher fat content, but this isn’t available in the US and heavy cream works fine. Don’t use a lighter fat or you risk failure. Yes, never mess with chemistry 🙂
- Microplane which delivers a nice fine zest.
- 9 inch removeable bottom tart pan.
- Parchment. I lined the pan with parchment to aid in removal of the tart
Step by Step Directions
Make the tart crust. Crush Nairn’s Oat Grahams in a food processor. Mix in butter and sugar.
Press into the bottom of the tart pan but not up the sides. Bake in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, then strain if desired and pour posset into the tart crust. Let the tart finish cooling in the refrigerator, then cover when cool.
It will need about 3 hours (or overnight) to thicken and set.
How to Serve
This would be an beautiful finish to an elegant dinner. Or truthfully it’s easy enough to serve with Sunday supper or any meal.
It would also be lovely served with tea or on a brunch table.
Plus (spoiler alert), this freezes well, so right now my husband and I have (part of) one in the freezer and thaw slices any time we want dessert. Life is good!
Garnishing the tart
Have fun decorating the top of the tart! I used berries, candied orange peel and a sprig of mint that survived winter in my unheated garage.
The tart filling is a classic lemon posset recipe, so if you want to skip the tart part, you can pour the filling into small serving dishes or dessert shot glasses.
You can use regular or Meyer lemons in this. Or you can use another citrus fruit like oranges, limes or grapefruit.
Tips & FAQs
To strain or not to strain. For a straight posset, you can make a case for straining out the zest, especially if you don’t have a fine zester like a microplane. But once it’s in a tart, it’s very unlikely any zest will be crunchier than the crust, so I’ve been skipping it.
This can be made the day before and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Eat the leftovers within a couple days or freeze. I used a Tupperware pie holder to store this.
Leftovers freeze well though the crust is slightly softer and the top gets slightly drier over time. As I mentioned earlier, I freeze any leftover tart whole, then saw, err cut off a couple slices to thaw while I start dinner. By the time dinner is over, it’s ready.
Lemon Posset Tart
- 1 cup Nairn’s oat graham crumbs from 3 of the inner packets
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
Lemon Posset Filling:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Prepare the tart pan. Trace the insert of a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan and cut out a parchment liner (helps to remove the tart). Set the removeable bottom back in the tart pan and top with the parchment (pencil side down if you didn’t cut it all off). Spray with non-stick spray.
- Make the tart crust. Crush 3 packages of Nairn’s Oat Grahams in a food processor to form 1 cup of crumbs. Mix in butter and sugar. Press into the bottom of the tart pan but not up the sides. Bake in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
- Make the posset. Using a microplane or other fine zester, zest 1 Tablespoon of zest. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, stir together the cream, sugar and lemon zest, making sure the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for a few more minutes. Watch to make sure mixture doesn’t boil over.
- Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, then strain if desired and pour posset into the tart crust. Let the tart finish cooling in the refrigerator, then cover when cool. It will need about 3 hours (or overnight) to thicken and set.
Monday #SpringSweetsWeek Recipes
- Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Carrot Bundt Cake from Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- Carrot Halwa Ice Cream from Magical Ingredients
- Coconut Pudding with Dragon Fruit from Shockingly Delicious
- Crystalized Ginger Scones with Sake Poached Asian Pears from The Spiffy Cookie
- Easter Candy Crack Bars from Cookaholic Wife
- Easter Charcuterie Board from Devour Dinner
- Frozen Lemonade Pie from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Hummingbird Cupcakes from Red Cottage Chronicles
- Instant Pot Key Lime Cheesecake from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Key Lime Bundt Cake from Jen Around the World
- Key Lime Pie from Blogghetti
- Key Lime Sugar Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
- Lemon Blueberry Jelly Roll from That Recipe
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies from Eat Move Make
- Lemon Posset Tart from Art of Natural Living
- Lemon Scones with Lavender Glaze. from Family Around the Table
- Mocha Cream Puffs from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Orange Unicorn Doughnuts from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Strawberry Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake from Palatable Pastime
- Strawberry Lavender Muffins from Sweet Beginnings
- Strawberry Lemonade Mascarpone Cheesecakes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
We share recipes from #SpringSweetsWeek on Pinterest! Make sure you follow the board to see all the delicious recipes shared this week.
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Welcome to #SpringSweetsWeek 2022 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks! Thank you to Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Anolon, Sweets & Treats, Taylor and Colledge, and Nairn’s for your generous sponsorship.
- Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lime Curd