In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet,' posset was the sweet spiced drink used to poison someone. Since then it has evolved into a dessert that seems too good to be true. Not only does it feature a rich, thick, luxurious texture and intense, clean citrus taste, but it's also free of eggs, starch, and gelatin. The lemon flavor is even more intense than that in lemon curd, despite using less juice. Garnish with whipped cream and pomegranate, or any seasonal fruit.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
14 mins
additional:
4 hrs 10 mins
total:
4 hrs 39 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 glasses
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place gingersnap crumbs in a bowl and pour in melted butter. Mix until crumbs are well moistened. Transfer a few tablespoons of the crumbs into 4 small glasses; tamp down to compress into a crust. Chill crusts until firm.

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  • Grate lemons to get 1 heaping tablespoon of zest. Squeeze 1/4 cup juice into a bowl.

  • Pour heavy cream into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add sugar and set heat to medium-high. Mix and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium; adjust as needed to maintain a gentle bubble. Cook, stirring occasionally, for exactly 9 minutes. Watch to make sure cream does not boil over. Remove from heat and stir once more.

  • Add lemon zest and juice to the cream and whisk until well combined; mixture will thicken slightly. Let rest for 10 minutes.

  • Set a sieve over a glass measuring cup, or any container suitable for pouring. Strain lemon-cream mixture through the sieve, ending up with about 2 cups. Pour mixture carefully over the chilled crusts. Place glasses on a tray and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, 4 hours to overnight.

Chef's Note:

The first time I ever had this it was done with lime and graham cracker crumbs, and was equally stellar, so feel free to try both lemon and lime and use any crunchy cookie crumbs you like.

Nutrition Facts

652 calories; protein 3.6g; carbohydrates 51.8g; fat 50.7g; cholesterol 173.8mg; sodium 130.6mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (3)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/02/2019
It's wonderful to have such a super simple recipe for a quick, flexible dessert with broad appeal. I made mine with regular honey graham crackers and lemons. Chef John was right, it took exactly 1 1/2 lemons to have precisely 1/4 c of juice. I put fresh blackberries on top - delicious with the lemon! Everyone loved it. I'm looking forward to trying it with lime, along with other fruits on top. This would also make an excellent filling for most any type of fruit tart. Read More
(3)
5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/01/2019
It's wonderful to have such a super simple recipe for a quick, flexible dessert with broad appeal. I made mine with regular honey graham crackers and lemons. Chef John was right, it took exactly 1 1/2 lemons to have precisely 1/4 c of juice. I put fresh blackberries on top - delicious with the lemon! Everyone loved it. I'm looking forward to trying it with lime, along with other fruits on top. This would also make an excellent filling for most any type of fruit tart. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2020
I thought this was amazing-- reminded me of key lime pie (although I did make it with lemons). The gingerbread crust was a bit harder than I would have liked--maybe too much butter? The lemon filling was so wonderful. When I tasted it while cooking I was disappointed but after it cooled in refrigerator all flavors came together. I made it for Christmas dinner and it was a hit. I liked that I could assemble it early in the day (or the night before). Addendum 1/2020-- Ok the reason that the crust was so hard the first time I made this was that I mis-read the amount of butter in the recipe. I made it again this year (using 1/2 gingersnaps and 1/2 graham crackers) and the correct amount of butter and the crust was perfect. It was again a Christmas dinner dessert hit Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/12/2020
We liked this and will definitely make it again, though we will probably sub graham cracker for ginger snaps in the future since our family is not a huge fan of ginger snaps. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
12/28/2020
The "lemon pudding" is to die for! OMG it is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. Waste of time putting the gingersnap cookies on the bottom as a crust as you really can't taste them. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/18/2021
Oh, my! This is simply amazing. I’m not sure what else I can add to that, just amazing. I’ve been tinkering in the kitchen lately and I’m glad that I tried this recipe. I made this with Belvita crackers as a crust and it was still excellent. I taste tested it off the spatula, the measuring cup, and even the counter! It was hard to wait for it to set, but it was even better after the wait. Thank you for posting this recipe Chef Chef John! Read More