Rhubarb Posset a simple, fragrant, summer dessert. It is not exactly light due to the amount of cream but it is a great way to eat seasonal rhubarb. It came about due to my love of Come Dine With Me & aromatic flavours.
Anyone who watches the best show on tv will have heard of lemon posset. The contestants on Come Dine With Me make it regularly. I always found this strange, it is a random recipe. I guess some celebrity chef must have made it & there was a bit of a craze. Posset was a Medieval drink made by boiling milk. The recipe seems to have undergone some modern modifications & now is basically cream, sugar, lemon rind & juice. It is rich & delicious. We were surprised by just how good it is.
Our rhubarb patch has been generous this year & we have been eating it for weeks. I have tried a few new recipes & preparation methods & this posset is my favourite. The intensity of the rhubarb is not lost, just made luxurious with the cream. I think you could use most tangy fruits in a posset, gooseberries are also great. It is very similar to a fool but I think it is richer, probably due to the boiling of the cream.
The meringues are a lovely addition if you have time so I have included instructions for those too. I made crunchy meringue which takes time to dry out in the oven but is not really a lot of effort. The jasmine essence came from a Thai supermarket and is also available online. If you can’t be bothered to make meringues some crushed ginger biscuits would be yummy on the posset. It is good on its own but I really like adding some crunch.
A posset is an easy dessert to make. Once your fruit is prepared it is simply a matter of bringing some cream to the boil with a little sugar & adding the fruit. Bring it back to the boil & that’s it. It needs a couple of hours in the fridge but does not need much hands on time.
Rhubarb Posset with Jasmine Meringues
Rhubarb Posset (Serves 4)
200-250g Double Cream
Squeeze lemon juice
1/2 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp essence
1. Wash & cut the rhubarb & place in a saucepan with 50g sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod & add those to the rhubarb with a splash of water & a squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tsp). Start to cook the fruit over a low heat.
2. Stir the fruit gently to ensure even cooking. The rhubarb should be totally soft. Check the flavour to make sure there is sufficient sugar. I like the fruit to be quite tart to contrast with the cream but this is a personal thing.
3. Heat the cream & 25 g sugar in a separate pan. Once it is boiling (don’t be afraid to let it boil for a minute) add about three quarters of the fruit mixture. Stir it well & taste. There should be a balance between the fruit & cream so that you can taste both equally. If the flavour is not to your liking you may need to add more fruit or sugar.
4. Once it tastes delicious bring the mixture back to the boil. Spoon into serving bowls/glasses & refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.
2 egg whites
120g caster sugar
1/8 tsp Jasmine essence (about 10 drops)
1. Prepare the ingredients, line a baking tray with parchment or foil & heat turn the oven on to 140 degrees.
2. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
3. Add the jasmine essence and about a third of the sugar and whisk until they are incorporated. Add half the remaining sugar & whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the last part of the sugar and Continue whisking until the meringue is smooth & glossy.4. Depending on how keen you are about presentation either pipe or spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet. I piped the meringues as I wanted them to be quite small so that they cook quicker. Bake for 3-4 hours until crisp throughout.