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Lavender Honey Posset: The Easiest Entertaining Dessert You’ve Never Heard Of

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This honey posset recipe is my go to entertaining dessert because they require no special ingredients, can be made ahead and they look so fancy! We won’t tell anyone how insanely simple they are.

lavender-honey-possets

Up until about a year ago, I had never heard of a posset before. A sweet friend shared her recipe with me as her most made dessert and I was immediately so intrigued…just 4 ingredients and no tempering eggs or messing with gelatin?!

My interest had been thoroughly peaked and I made it that week for a dinner party. I now consider this one of my greatest entertaining skill sets too!

Today I’m sharing with you my favorite version of this dish….lavender honey posset. My guests are always a little thrown off by lavender showing up in their dessert but as soon as they taste it, all things are right again in the world.

The flavors here are delicate, creamy, intricate, refreshingly different to the palate. The dish is thick and custardy but not in the way an egg custard is and nothing like a gelatin based dessert. Its simplicity is a thing of beauty.

spoon-honey-posset

After my mind was blown by this new concept I got curious…why had no one ever heard of this? And I had to geek out on the history. Let’s jump in…

Possets while relatively unheard of in modern history has a long and rich story spanning back generations. Shakespeare spoke of them poetically in several of his stories. But the posset of his day was quite different than what we now associate with this phrase.

That posset was a warm drink….a simple mixture of cream with sugar that was cooked with spices and then had an ample portion of wine added. The wine of choice was called sack which is our modern day sherry wine…a fortified white wine.

honey-dipper-with-honey

Throughout the years the posset recipes have adapted greatly with the times and income levels of its creators….being thickened with bread or biscuits, almonds, and some recipes call for eggs to end up with a much more custardy end result. Some of them used ale and bread for a more pudding type consistency.

The drink was both a cure all…a remedy to be taken when a nasty cold affected you, and a celebratory drink most common at weddings.

The mixture was served in posset pots, small cups that look rather like a modern day teapot. From what I can gather from my studies the tradition was that after cooking, the drink was allowed to set up in a warm location to allow 3 distinct layers to form.

An alcoholic base at the bottom, a custardy layer, and a frothy layer on the very top. You would use a spoon to eat the top layers and then drink the wine through the spout in the cup. Read more about the classic posset recipe and check out a picture of the posset pots here.

honey-lavender-possets

I don’t know about you but it seems like a perfect thing to make into a Christmas tradition! Oh and don’t worry I have been working on tracking down some of these posset pots for a post on this soon!

honeycomb-lavender

Today’s modern posset like these honey possets are a chilled dessert that carries similar qualities. Cream and sugar (honey in this case) are boiled together and then an acid (lemon and lime juice today) is added to slightly curdle the mixture. Pour it into cups and chill overnight.

That is literally it!

You can add spices in the boil or steep flavors in it as it cools. Quite possibly the most versatile recipe ever.

I love having this trick up my sleeve to keep entertaining easy and since Christmas is just a week away now it seems like something we all could use a bit more help with!

lavender-cream

Have you ever heard of a posset before? Do you have a family recipe that you can share a story? I would love to hear it!

Other posset recipes enjoy!

Raspberry Swirl Posset Recipe

Orange and Chocolate Posset Recipe

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Honey Posset: The Easiest Entertaining Dessert You’ve Never Heard Of

This honey posset recipe is my go to entertaining dessert because they require no special ingredients, can be made ahead and they look so fancy! We won't tell anyone how insanely simple they are.
Prep Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Print Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cream, heavy or regular whipping cream both work
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Juice of 1/2 lime about 1 tablespoon juice
  • 4-5 lavender sprigs be sure they are not sprayed with pesticides

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan bring cream and honey to boil over medium-high heat. Stir continually until honey is fully combined. Boil for 3 full minutes stirring continually. You may need to lower heat to prevent boiling over. Remove from stovetop.
  • All lemon and lime juice and stir.
  • Mix in lavender sprigs so they are fully submerged and allow to steep for 10-20 minutes (to intensity of lavender flavor desired).
  • Remove sprigs and pour into ramekins. Top with a few tiny flowers.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill, minimum of 2 hours. You can also pop them in the freezer for 30-40 minutes if you are running late and they will be decently set, but I prefer overnight to let the flavors meld.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 55mg | Sugar: 25g
GF
By on February 2nd, 2018

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About Dani Meyer

Hi, I’m Dani! I’m most importantly mama to 3 wild little dudes. I spend my days cooking, photographing and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I'm a full time food blogger and online business coach.

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67 thoughts on “Lavender Honey Posset: The Easiest Entertaining Dessert You’ve Never Heard Of”

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious. I didn’t taste the lavender much the first time when steeping for 10 minutes. I steeped for 20 instead and got a decent flavor, but I really wanted a floral punch. So instead, while boiling and stirring for 3 minutes, I added the sprigs in the last 2 minutes and removed them 5 minutes into cooling. The floral flavor was perfect.

    I have a few posset recipes I just love.

    Base:
    2 cups heavy cream
    3/4 sugar

    Flavors:

    Raspberry Lime
    1 tsp lime zest boiled with cream and sugar
    5 tablespoons lime juice
    1/4 cup raspberry purée (I boil frozen raspberries in the lime juice and then mash with a fork)

    Earl Grey
    5 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 Harney & Sons (or your favorite strong brand) tea bag steeped for 10 minutes after boil

    Banana Cream
    5 tablespoons lemon
    2 medium bananas well ripened, puréed added after boil with the lemon juice
    * the curdled and sweet buttery-ness of the posset base gives a banana cream pie flavor – I like to make a half recipe of my standard pie crust and crumble it on top

    Reply
  2. Sounds really nice! After finding the recipe for a Rosemary Lemon Posset in an herb book…I tried it and have been making them for close to 10 years. Despite the ease of making and simple ingredients they always come out perfect and get rave reviews! I like the sound of some of your. Combos here…anxious to try! Best, Patrick…

    Reply
  3. Hello
    I am going to attempt this for my daughter’s bridal shower, Can I make it and have it set into a large container then spoon it out when it is time?

    Reply
    • Hi Pamela,

      The presentation would be super rough done that way. I would advise doing small cups like we have demonstrated. Even plastic disposable dessert cups would be lovely. If you decide to scoop it the texture will be much like yogurt and I’m not confident how set the center would be in a large container. I’d plan on topping it with plenty of toppings if you go that route to make it look nicer. I’d also for sure do a test run first. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • I used lavender flavoring in mine and it tasted great! I halved the recipe and used 1 tsp of the flavoring, adding at the same point where you would add the sprigs. Flavoring/extract is potent, so if you’re adding to taste, only add a little at a time.

        One thing to note: the citrus taste mellowed out with time. If the dessert sits overnight, you get more of the lavender flavor and less of the lemon-lime.

        Reply
      • From what I have read (no expert here but looking at many of the common essential oil sites) some lavender essential oils can be taken internally. But I’m sure the flavoring and extract would be delicious too! I have not tested any of those, we just used dried lavender when we couldn’t get fresh.

        -Dani

        Reply
  4. This had an outstanding flavor, but mine was not as firm as it appears in the recipe. Mine was a little soupy. I have a gas stove and it did boil for 3 possibly 4 minutes and it was refrigerated over night. Could I have done something better to help prevent that?

    Reply
    • Hey Meijams,

      Ensuring all the ratios are proper and a full rolling boil is crucial. Also I just had a thought that perhaps your cream was ultra-pasteurized?

      We are going to retest this with ultra-pasteurized cream and ensure it works still. I know that using that in cheese making will often not work because it’s been heated too hot for too long, so that may be what happened here for you.

      Hope that helps!

      Dani

      Reply
      • I used ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream and had the dessert set in the fridge overnight. It’s definitely very soupy if you only wait 2 hours. The resulting texture was a bit like yogurt, but it could still hold its shape when cut into with a spoon.

        Reply
    • Hey Angela! It doesn’t split into a curd and whey. I know that sounds weird but it’s been tested close to a hundred times by us because we are so obsessed with it haha. Give it a whirl!

      -Dani

      Reply
  5. Is the honey optional or is it needed? I love the recipe concept but I might want it unsweetened. Thank you in advance for answering.

    Reply
  6. I’m going to try these as a dessert appetizer at our wedding on June 21st. I think it would be a wonderful addition for the guests to try. I have several foodies that will be in attendance.
    As it will take several batches to make enough, how long would they be good in the fridge for? Meaning, how far in advance could we make them?

    Reply
    • Fronter Co-op or Mountian Rose Herbs have culinary lavender I have ordered. Also cheek Spice Merchants out of Seattle area as I believe I saw they carried it. I’ve also purchased lavender at my local co-op and natural food stores.

      Reply
  7. 5 stars
    Hi Dani, thank you for posting this recipe! I have never heard of posset before but I am going to try it out. It looks so good. Just found your blog. Very interesting!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Rhoda! I hope you try it and welcome to the blog, so glad you found us! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a recipe request 🙂

      xoxo,

      Dani

      Reply
  8. After reading your post I desperately want to make these for my next get together with friends but I do have a question. Do them need to set in ramekins? I have this Dixie cup size glass jars I’ve been saving and I was curious if those would be alright as well. Not sure if the material of the ramekins would help the dessert set better than the glass jars.

    Reply
    • Hi Pearl!

      I’ve never done them in anything but ramekins but I would imagine glass would be just fine! It’s similar to pudding or custard so it shouldn’t matter what container it’s in.

      Hope that helps!

      Dani

      Reply
  9. 5 stars
    Oddly I had heard of the historic drink before but not the modern dessert. Possibly because I was a history and not a culinary major in school? This reminds me of making ricotta minus the stirring to get the milk proteins to fall out of the solution and of course milk not cream in used. I will have to give this a try soon! Your photos are lovely!

    Reply
  10. 5 stars
    Just made these for a dinner party and they’re FANTASTIC. I made two batches to serve 8 (plus a tester) and people were over the moon.

    I had loose buds instead of sprigs so I used 2 (generous) teaspoons per batch, and strained them out before chilling. (It doesn’t thicken while the lavender is soaking so straining is no problem.

    Served them with orange shortbread cookies which complemented the lemon really well.

    Reply
  11. Hi Dani,

    After finding this, I finally made this for my siblings and had a little extra for co-workers.

    It was a hit.
    I’m from Malaysia where the cultures combine. I used cinnamon bark & vanilla.
    For the weight watchers at the office, I set the possets in my grandmother’s Chinese tea cups. They were so cute n were just the right size.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  12. 5 stars
    Just found this recipe stumbling through pinterest. I am looking for something that I can add to a tart something panna-cotta-like. Will this fit the bill? I love lavendar!!!

    Reply
    • I would imagine it would set pretty nicely for that! Not sure how the structure would be for slicing etc but you could definitely do individual tarts with it.

      Hope that helps!

      Dani

      Reply
      • Thank you Dani for sharing this recipe. I’m indian and used to very different flavours. Took a try with the posset and it was a hit! The only different thing I did was added frozen berries (defrosted) on top. looked beautiful and had wonderful comments.
        when the berries are defrosted you get a little syrup from the berries which also add a lovely look.

        Reply
  13. 4 stars
    I would be really interested in a Christmas Posset as I find traditional Christmas Pudding can be quite heavy after eating a Roast Turkey with all the trimmings! Something light – like a Christmas Posset would be perfect I think! Has anybody got a wonderful recipe they would care to share!!??

    Reply
    • Great idea Jane!

      What kind of flavoring are you imagining? We’ve been playing with a chocolate orange posset for the holidays but it’s not quite where I want it (a bit too grainy still). Does that sound good? Or maybe a sweet cranberry orange? It needs an acid to set the posset so keep in mind that lemon/lime/orange will need to be a part of it 🙂

      Thanks for the great comment!

      xoxo,

      Dani

      Reply
      • I was thinking of something that included Dried Fruits, perhaps soaked in something alcoholic (added at the very end) with a mix of something like Cinnamon and/or Nutmeg to flavour the lemon/lime/orange needed to make it set!! I suppose I am really thinking very similar to Christmas Pudding – but light and fluffy!! 😉

        Reply
      • I’d love to have an alternative flavor option other than lavendar. I can’t stand lavendar oil so I Can’t imagine eating it? Love the orange cranberry option, cinnamon…anything else?

        Reply
  14. I made these tonight. They couldn’t be simpler. I used a little more than a tablespoon of dried lavender and let it steep for 10 minutes. The next time, I will use a darker honey and let the lavender sit for at least 15 minutes. You could taste both but the lemon/lime was a much stronger flavor. The texture was really nice. They were hard to stop eating once you started. I’m going to serve them tomorrow at a dinner party with roasted blueberries. I can imagine all sorts of flavor combos and would love to hear from others on what they’ve had success with.

    Reply
  15. OMG !! I love the sound of this recipe ! I love honey & custards. Knowing that not everyone likes custards this a great alternative. Can’t wait to make it for my sister-n-law next month !! Now I’m on the hunt for cute posset cups 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey Dawn,

      Either will work just fine. You will be hard pressed to find fresh lavender in most places right now so dried would work well. I would use about a half teaspoon of dried leaves for each stem recommended and be sure to strain thoroughly.

      xoxo Dani

      Reply
    • Hi Katy!

      I’ve never noticed them melting at all. They are set more like a creme brulee so I think like 30 mins would definitely be okay, not sure on several hours. Might set them on an ice bowl with a metal serving platter on top to just keep them perfect!

      xoxo

      Dani

      Reply

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