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Creamy Orange Posset

Orange posset is a simple dessert requiring no baking and only a few ingredients, but it packs a beautiful punch of flavor.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that you have never heard of posset. I never had until I recently stumbled across an Instagram reel and saw how simple it was to make. 

I just adore citrus-based sweet and savory recipes in the winter, so I knew I had to make this. 

Although traditionally made with lemons, it can be made with other citrus fruits just as easily. Since my husband had just brought home a big bag of oranges, I went with orange. 

What is Posset?

But let's back up a bit first. What exactly is posset? 

According to Merriam-Webster:

pos·set

/ˈpäsət/

noun

1. a cold dessert made from thickened cream, typically flavored with lemon.

So posset is similar in texture to a panna cotta, but doesn't require any gelatin to set up. Nor does it use eggs like the custardy cream that makes up the base of creme brulee. It also doesn't require any baking. And who doesn't love a no-bake dessert recipe every once in awhile? 

But what honestly drew me to try making posset initially was that it doesn't require any eggs - and those of you with chickens know that eggs can be hard to come by this time of year! So any dessert that I can make without eggs is one I want to keep in my rotation.

I found several traditional recipes that were all basically the same, since it's a recipe that requires so few ingredients, and decided to give it a go. 

Apparently lemon is the most common citrus to use in a posset, but since I had a big bag of oranges, I went with orange and just tweaked the classic recipe. 

Note: since oranges are considerably sweeter than lemons, I think I could definitely have reduced the amount of sugar in my recipe a bit more than I did. It's definitely a sweet dessert. So if you like sweet, leave it as is, but feel free to cut the amount of sugar, especially if you'll be serving your posset with cookies or other sweets.

For fun, I decided to serve mine right in the orange peel half for our Christmas dessert table this year. You can also use small ramekins or bowls instead. It's a very sweet, rich dessert, so small quantities are fine - and likely appreciated!

And it's so easy to make and requires only a few basic ingredients, so it doesn't have to be just for holidays or special occasions!

Glazed orange shortbread cookies from the Lane & Gray Fare blog served alongside really complemented the posset (although the original recipe uses gluten-free flour, I used regular all-purpose flour in mine) and as an added bonus, the cookies didn't call for any eggs either!

I did add a bit of Cointreau for a bigger citrus punch of flavor, but that is entirely optional and you can skip it if you wish.

I love citrusy flavors during the cold months, and I have a feeling I'll be making many more possets before the end of the winter! 

This is such an easy, elegant dessert that can has to be made in advance, so it's perfect to make a day in advance to serve to guests so you're not stuck in the kitchen the day of.

Here's my recipe for Creamy Orange Posset. 

(scroll to the bottom for the printable recipe card)

Creamy Orange Posset

(makes 4 servings).

3 oranges

1 pint heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Pinch of salt

Splash Cointreau (optional)

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Cut 2 of the oranges in half and remove the flesh leaving the peels intact. Set aside. Juice the flesh to yield 1/3 cup. Zest the remaining orange and juice, if additional juice is needed.  Cut wedges for garnish, if desired. 

(You can either eat the remaining flesh, or compost it, but remember, citrus is one thing that isn't great for chickens in large amounts. It can lead to soft-shelled eggs,  and they probably won't eat it anyway, so I don't recommend sharing it with your flock.)

Add the cream, sugar, zest, vanilla and salt to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened and pale yellow, about 10 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the juice and Cointreau, if using. 

Let cool for 30 minutes, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a two-cup measuring cup, pressing with a spatula or wooden spoon to get all the liquid out. Divide the liquid into the orange peel halves or ramekins.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (cover loosely with plastic wrap if chilling overnight). Garnish with orange wedges, mint leaves and additional zest, if desired.
























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