The Queen's favourite dessert with only three ingredients – how to make

6 mins read


It would therefore be the perfect summer treat to make at home to feel just like a royal. Her favourite dessert is a lemon posset, which is a very old-fashioned dessert with a creamy texture. Former chef to the Queen, Darren McGrady, released the secret royal recipe of Queen Elizabeth’s lemon posset which he would serve at Buckingham Palace.

Possets date back to the 15th century, as they are even mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth when Lady Macbeth uses them to poison the guards.

Milk, wine, sugar, ginger, and star anise were boiled together in the 15th century as a remedy for colds.

But by the 16th century, it had become just three ingredients: lemons, sugar, and cream.

According to McGrady, this is one of the easiest desserts to make, and the fact it is the Queen’s favourite makes it all the more regal.

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To make the posset, you will need to pour the cream into a pan and then zest two lemons.

After whisking these two ingredients together, you will then need to put the pan on the stove so the cream starts to boil and reduced down slightly.

While this is happening, begin to squeeze the lemons to get all the lemon juice in a bowl.

The acid from the lemons, according to McGrady, ensures you will not need eggs or cornflour to help the posset materialise.

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The combination of these three ingredients means as it cools down it sets into the most beautiful creamy texture.

At the palace, to balance the texture McGrady would also sometimes include amoretti biscuits on the base of the dessert.

The almond flavour from these biscuits mixed with the lemon make such a tasty flavour and they are also the Queen’s favourite type of biscuits.

McGrady recommends to just lightly bash the biscuits, so they remain some texture instead of completely smooth.

To do this, put the biscuits in a Ziplock bag and just lightly break the biscuits with your hand instead of the usual rolling pin.

McGrady warned to stay looking over the stove when the cream and lemon zest is boiling, so it does not boil over the top.

It should take just five minutes until it reduces to two measuring cups in size.
Once this has been achieved, take it off the stove and add in the preparedly squeezed lemon juice.

This can be done straight away without the need to let the cream cool down.
McGrady adds in some yellow food colouring just to make it look as lemony as possible and very appetizing for the Queen.

He then pours the mixture into a jug to make it easier to measure before placing it in its dish.

Using individual glasses, McGrady places a few amoretti biscuit crumbs into the base before pouring the posset mix over it.

However, it is a very rich mixture so McGrady recommends to just pour enough to cover the base.

Immediately put this in the fridge, and once it sets after about 30 minutes, you can pour over some more.

The trick is to do this gently, otherwise, the new layer of posset will sink straight to the bottom.

Just fill the glass halfway, and this will make the perfect dessert, fit to eat at Buckingham Palace.

After setting in the fridge for a further hour, you will have created your very own lemon posset.

McGrady used to pick blueberries when staying at Balmoral Castle and would then boil them with some orange juice or some alcohol, before thickening with some cornflour.

This makes the perfect topping and is said to be really enjoyed by the Queen, with some extra added lemon zest on top for decoration.



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