Lemon Posset with Crystallised Primroses
This lemon posset recipe has done the rounds, (was it Jane Grigson originally?), always lip-smackingly good, but it was Skye Gyngell who introduced us to this version scented with sweet geranium leaves (Pelargonium Graveolens). She in turn attributed it to Jeremy Lee so on it goes….Anyway its sublime so thank you all.
400ml double cream
90g caster sugar
5 leaves rose or lemon scented geranium, frosted geranium leaves are even prettier
50 ml organic lemon juice
6 x 75ml (3fl oz/scant 1/2 cup) individual serving bowls or shot glasses
Crystallised Primroses or Crystallised Julienne of Lemon Peel
Place the cream, sugar and rose geranium leaves in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, squeeze in the lemon juice, strain into serving bowls of choice. Cool, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
Garnish with a tiny rose or lemon scented geranium leaf.
Flowers and leaves crystallized with sugar will keep for months, although they may lose their initial vibrant colour. This is what we call a high-stool job – definitely a labour of love and not something suited to an impatient, Type A personality. The end result is both beautiful and rewarding and many family and staff wedding cakes have been embellished with crystallized flowers over the years.
Flowers and leaves must be edible and are all worth doing.
Smaller flowers are more attractive when crystallized eg. primroses, violets, apple blossom, viola’s, rose petals….We crystallize lots of leaves as well as flowers so one can make attractive arrangements. Use fairly strong textured leaves - e.g. mint, lemon balm, sweet cicily, wild strawberry, salad burnet or marguerite daisy leaves.
The caster sugar must be absolutely dry, one could dry it in a low oven for about 30 minutes approx.
Break up the egg white slightly in a little bowl with a fork. Using a child's paintbrush, paint the egg white very carefully over each petal and into every crevice. Pour the caster sugar over the flower with a teaspoon. Arrange the crystallized flowers carefully on silicone paper so that they retain a good shape. Leave to dry overnight in a warm, dry place such as close to an Aga, over a radiator or in an airing cupboard. When properly crystallized, these flowers will last for months, even years, provided they are kept dry. We store them in a pottery jar or a tin box.
Candied Julienne of Lemon Peel
2 organic lemons
stock syrup made with 150g (5oz/generous 1/2 cup) sugar and 175ml (6fl oz/3/4 cup) water, cooked together for 2 minutes
Peel the 2 lemons very thinly with a swivel top peeler, be careful not to include the white pith, cut the strips into a fine julienne. Put in a saucepan with 16fl ozs (2 cups) of cold water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot, refresh in cold water and repeat the process again. Put the julienne in a saucepan with the syrup and cook gently until the lemon julienne looks translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool on bakewell paper or a cake rack. When cold sprinkle with castor sugar.*
* Can be stored in a jar or airtight tin for weeks or sometimes months.