We love that most English of puddings the posset here at Country Homes & Interiors, and we’re fond of all things lavender related too, so choosing this dessert for the blog this week was a no brainer (plus we’re big fans of Paul Hollywood and this recipe is from his new book). A posset is a very simple pudding that dates back to the Middle Ages, and the lemon juice and fragrant lavender in this recipe cuts through the richness of the cream perfectly. (Serves 4–6)
For the posset
600ml double cream
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp edible lavender
Juice of 2 lemons, strained
For the lavender biscuits
100g unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp lavender (fresh buds and leaves or edible dried lavender)
50g caster sugar
175g plain flour
1 To make the posset, put the cream, sugar and lavender in a pan. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring all the time to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat a little and simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring often so the cream doesn’t stick and burn. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then pour into 4 glass tumblers or small dishes, or 6 espresso cups. Leave to cool completely then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, until set. Remove from the fridge 20 minutes before serving.
2 To make the biscuits, beat the butter and lavender together in a bowl; this helps release the flavour of the lavender. Add the caster sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Work in the flour with a fork or wooden spoon. Don’t worry if it seems like there is too much flour at this point – it is supposed to be a fairly dry mix. Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a smooth dough. Form the mixture into a cylinder shape, about 4cm in diameter and 18cm long, and wrap in greaseproof paper or cling film. Put in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, until firm. When you are ready to bake the biscuits, heat your oven to 160°C/gas 3 and line a large baking tray with parchment. Unwrap the dough and use a sharp, serrated knife to cut 5mm thick discs from the cylinder. Place these discs on the lined tray, allowing room for the biscuits to spread a little. (You’ll need to cook them in batches.) Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the biscuits are just starting to turn golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
*Recipe taken from Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds (£20, published by Bloomsbury), out now. Photograph: Peter Cassidy
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