When I saw this dessert in the Los Angeles Times, I couldn’t believe it would work. When I tried it, it was a great surprise and delight–it works perfectly. The dessert is Meyer Lemon Posset and the recipe, while ancient, appeared in a modern version in the L.A. Times courtesy of Regina Schramblings.
A posset was originally a drink developed the Middle Ages. It was made with cream, sugar, spices, and some sort of spirit, often ale. The alcohol would thicken the drink. Over time, recipe got more complicated, with eggs and flavorings added. Now it’s come back to its original simple creation, and we can be thankful for it.
It’s the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day–it’s worth the calorie splurge. It has a heavenly tart, fragrant, and sweet taste, and an exquisite texture. And it’s not hard to make. Three ingredients combine to create the perfect meaning of the word ‘synergy.’ Cream, sugar and Meyer lemons. Together they taste so much better than each ingredient on its own.
Why wabi sabi? Because as a recipe, it has all the elements of wabi sabi–it honors the old, the simple, and is the joy of its creation. It doesn’t take long to make, but there are no shortcuts, and each step has a special joy. It requires waiting and the wait is worthwhile. Meyer Lemon Posset is a perfect wabi sabi dessert.
If Meyer lemons are not available, use Key Limes. They are the same citrus fruit that goes into Key Lime Pie. If you live within easy reach of a Hispanc market, they are also called Colada Limon. I’m not a fan of Persian limes–the ones most commonly sold. But a good ripe lime will work in this recipe.
A Meyer lemon is yellow and fragrant-it’s round, not oval, with a finer textured skin than a standard lemon. When left on the tree, they will become yellow, but they are most often picked, packed and shipped while mostly green. They have a soft flavor, intensely tropical and tart, rather than sour.
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
Combine cream and sugar and heat over low heat, stirring, till it simmers and sugar is dissolved. No need to boil.
Cool the mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
While the mixture is cooling, juice enough Meyer lemons (about 5) to create 1/4 cup juice. Use the pulp, but remove the seeds.
Combine the juice into the cooled cream mixture, stir thoroughly and immediately pour into small bowls for individual serving. Chill for at least 4 hours to allow the mixture to set up. It will have the consistency of sour cream, and will be a lovely ivory color.
Serving suggestion: you can certainly eat it the way it is. You can top it with fresh or frozen fruit. Blueberries add a nice color contrast, mangoes create a taste explosion. If you can’t bear the calories, you can also serve it in smaller portions by putting together some perfect berries and putting a generous dollop of posset over the fruit.
No matter how you serve it, eat it slowly, breathing fully between bites to get the fragrance into your head for maximum enjoyment.
–Images: Key limes: thaifood.about.com Posset: Quinn McDonald
–Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She lives in Arizona and wishes her house in Virginia would sell. While she’s waiting for her chef husband to sell the house, she’s rediscovering her own cooking skills, including this dessert recipe. See her work at QuinnCreative.com (c) 2008 All rights reserved.