Quick, Easy, Delicious Dessert: Lemon Posett
The thing that astonishes me about celebrity chef James Martin is that he doesn't give a hoot about the quantities of saturated fat he incorporates into his cooking. He nonchalantly ladles lashings of butter into his frying pan with alacrity and a cheeky grin; and we, the viewing audience, are drawn into his decadent approach to dining. Which is how I came to be preparing a lemon posett. I had been watching him demonstrate this dangerous yet delicious dessert on tv. My house has been a pudding-free zone for some time now - on account of my drive to avoid sugar and the danger of diabetes. But here in England, the weather on some Sunday afternoons in November can be so dismal that I am are driven to comfort food. Added to which, two lemons had been lurking in my fridge for the past week, with no plans for their future. So here was the answer - lemon posett.
It is so easy to whip up this sweet treat in a matter of minutes. The most tiresome part is removing the zest from the lemon - the most ineffectual piece of kitchen kit ever invented must be the zester. If it tries your patience too much, remove the zest of the lemon with a vegetable peeler, trying not to take too much white pith, and then cut it into very narrow strips with a small sharp knife. (Your life will be a little easier if you buy unwaxed lemons).Then simply boil some double cream with caster sugar, allow it to cool, and whip in the zest and juice of the lemons. Ladle the mixture into some suitable individual serving dishes and place them in the fridge until the posset is set - about three hours.
I hadn't, unfortunately, realised just how high fat and calorific a lemon posset is. Until I looked at the labeling on the carton of cream and on the packet of sugar. There are in a single serving of posett- wait for it - 567 calories and 50.5g of fat! But I've made it now and no way will I muster the self-discipline to sit and watch whilst others tuck in.
If lemon posset appeals to your palate, and you are willing to risk heart disease, follow the link to the recipe (I resisted baking the accompaniment of shortbread fingers).
It costs less than £2.50 to make enough lemon posett for six servings,and it's delicious enough to serve at a dinner party.
James Martin's Lemon Posett
I have to offset the decadence somehow so I've used the leftovers of a roast chicken in a spiced bean and kale soup with chicken for a simple and healthy first course. This is a warming soup to soothe the spirit. We normally eat at the dining table but on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon, I think we can be allowed trays in front of the fire. There's no need to be precise about the ingredients - I used cannellini beans instead of the specified black beans and threw in a couple of generous handfuls of kale, rather than weighing out what seemed to me an over-generous quantity.