Lilacs are stunning and fragrant flowers, beautiful in landscaping and great for attracting pollinators. Did you know that you can also make dishes using lilacs? Lilac infused desserts were popular in the medieval period, and many of these desserts are coming back today. Lilac honey posset is a creamy, custard-like dessert perfect for spring. Here’s how to make it.
How to Make Old-Fashioned Lilac Honey Posset
Infusing floral notes into food can take a few days. This recipe requires you to soak (or infuse) your flowers overnight, so keep that in mind whenever you use flowers. The recipe has only 4 ingredients: cream, lilac blooms, honey and lemon juice.
Where do Possets Originate?
Possets date back to the middle ages and are mentioned in literature at both wedding feasts and as simple ways to create edible medicinals with plant infusions. Many herbs and flowers have holistic medicinal properties and the honey custard makes it more edible, especially if you’re using bitter or unappealing herb and spices.
Why You Need Lemon Juice in Posset
Lemon juice is essential is making sure that your posset with set like a custard. Posset doesn’t use gelatin or cornstarch to thicken it. Lemon acidifies the cream, causing the casein proteins in the cream to thicken and set.
Harvesting Your Lilac Blooms
Lilac flowers are incredibly aromatic and a great plant to have in your garden. You will begin by harvesting the flowers when they first begin to bloom. Old blooms do not maintain their aroma, so the more newly opened blooms you have the better.
Rinse your lilac flowers well, with cold water, to remove any dirt, debris or bugs.
Remove all the tiny flowers from their stems. The flowers are what provide the delicious and light floral scent to the posset. If you add in the stems, it will create a vegetable-like flavor that does not taste all that great.
For the recipe, you will need 2 cups of fresh lilac blooms.
Infusing Your Cream
This is an overnight recipe, so be prepared to allow enough time for the cream to be infused otherwise the lilac flavor will be lost.
Add 1 cup your foraged lilac blooms (without any stems) to your cream and allow the flowers to soak in the cream overnight. I put them covered in the refrigerator. If you are in a rush, you can simmer your cream and the lilac blooms in a small saucier pan for an hour or so.
After the lilac has infused your cream, strain the flowers out of the cream. The cream should smell sweetly of lilac.
Making Your Lilac Posset
Heat your cream and 1/2 cup of honey together in a sauce pan, heating to a low boil. If the cream is heated on high it will separate and your will ruin the cream. Stir constantly.
Once you get your cream and honey to a low boil, drop the heat to a simmer and let the cream and honey cook for about 3 minutes, stirring the entire time.
Add in 1/3 cup of the lemon juice to mix together, simmering just a few more minutes.
Remove your posset from the heat and allow the cream mixture to cool slightly. Then add 1 cup of lilac blooms to your posset an infuse your lilac blooms for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Cooling Your Lilac Posset
After the lilac posset has been cooked and the lilac blossoms added to infuse, strain the blossoms from your cream and pour the warm custard into small ceramic dishes or glass jars.
Cover your lilac posset tightly and place in the refrigerator to set. The cream will need to chill in order to set. This can take up to 24 hours, but may be set after about 4 hours.
Once your Lilac Posset has set, it is ready to eat!
Other Infusing Options
Lilacs are not the only option for floral infusion. If you want the light flavor of other flowers, be sure to try: elderflowers, rose petals, chamomile, or even lavender buds. If you choose lavender buds, only 1/2 cup is needed as lavender is a very strong aromatic.
You Make Also Like: How to Plant and Grow Lavender, and a beginner’s guide to Harvesting Lavender.
Many flowers are useful in the kitchen and can be added as subtle flavors to food. However, if you use too much of the floral flavors, it can make your food taste more like perfume. Use floral notes sparingly.
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Lilac Honey Posset
This medieval recipe for a custard-like dessert is made with honey and infused with floral lilac notes.
- 2 cups lilac blossoms wash with cold water and remove all stems
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup raw organic honey
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt optional
The Night Before
Pour 4 cups of heavy whipping cream into a bowl. Add 1 cup of freshly harvesting and washed lilac blossoms into the cream. Cover the cream and allow the lilacs to infuse the cream overnight.
The Next Day
Strain the cream, removing the lilac blossoms, into a saucepan.
Add 1/2 cup of honey to the cream mixture and bring the honey and cream to a low boil. Stirring constantly.
Once you get to a soft boil, turn your heat down to a low simmer and simmer for about 3 minutes. Keep stirring.
Pour in 1/3 cup of lemon juice and combine all ingredients. Continue to stir the cream for another 3-5 minutes.
Remove the cream mixture from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Optional: add 1/8 tsp salt
Once it is slightly cooled, pour in 1 cup of lilac blossoms to your cream mixture and allow the lilac blossoms to infuse for about 10 minutes.
Strain the flowers out of the cream mixture and pour the cream into individual ramekins or glass jars.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until the posset has set.
Substitute equal amounts of flower petals for other edible flowers. If you are using lavender buds, only use 1/2 cup total (1/4 for each infusion) as lavender flowers have a stronger flavor.