Blood Orange Posset

Like people, there are recipes blessed with both beauty and eleg­ant names. When my daugh­ter was four years old, she heard a waiter in a Por­tuguese res­taur­ant say that the fish of the day was ‘pan-fried-fil­let-of-golden-bream’. It had such a poet­ic lilt to it that my daugh­ter repeated the name of this dish end­lessly, enchanted by its rhythm.

Sadly ‘Blood Orange Pos­set’ got a rough deal when names were being handed out. The word ‘blood’ is nev­er good when attached to an eleg­ant pud­ding and ‘pos­set’ (like ‘gus­set’, ‘cor­set’ and ‘thick­et’) is just plain hor­rible. But don’t be fooled. Blood Orange Pos­set is a divinely creamy con­fec­tion with the fresh sting of Sicili­an oranges and the extra­vag­ant indol­ence of double cream. It’s also the easi­est pud­ding I know.

Blood Orange Posset With Candied Orange Peel

Serves 4

For the Pos­set

2 blood oranges (ordin­ary oranges or even lem­ons will work too, but you won’t get the bubblegum-pink final res­ult). You will need the juice plus the finely grated zest

500ml double cream

120g caster sug­ar

Bring the cream and sug­ar to a boil in a pan and then bubble gently for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the juice and zest. Stir to com­bine. Pour the mix­ture into glasses or bowls and refri­ger­ate for at least 3 hours until it’s set.

For the Can­died Peel

Peel of 2 blood oranges

Half cup caster sug­ar

One cup water

Peel long, very fine strips from the oranges and put them in a pan with enough water to cov­er. Bring to a boil, drain the water off and then repeat twice more. In the mean­time, in a sep­ar­ate pan, com­bine half a cup of sug­ar and one cup of water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a sim­mer for a couple of minutes and then add the pre­vi­ously boiled orange peel to the sug­ar solu­tion. Sim­mer for a fur­ther ten minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool and then hook out clusters of peel from the pan with a fork and place care­fully on top of each pos­set.

All you need to do now is to eat your Blood Orange Pos­set while dream­ing up a new name for it. Since I’m speak­ing as someone who cre­ated a ukelele pop group when she was nine years old called The Umbil­ic­al Chord I think I should leave the re-nam­ing to you.


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21 thoughts on “Blood Orange Posset

  1. Like you I am equi­voc­al about ‘pos­set’. On the one hand it sounds nice and com­fort­ably old-fash­ioned, on the oth­er in rela­tion to small babies on one’s shoulder less so! Blood’s OK though as applied to the beau­ti­ful oranges you pic­ture. Could it be a syl­la­bub? Any­way it looks won­der­ful — and deli­cious.

  2. Gor­geous, what lovely pho­tos too — did you get the blood oranges in Oxford and if so where please?

    Thanks for the link to Su Black­well from your pre­vi­ous post, I’ve enjoyed look­ing at her work very much as a wel­come dis­trac­tion from the lists of facts I’m meant to be learn­ing today

  3. I made my very first pos­set just yes­ter­day, a lem­on one using a big ridged green fruit which looked like a giant lime but the shop keep­er told me was a Banglade­shi lem­on.

    I was so thrilled how easy it was!

    I’ve been look­ing out for blood oranges recently, I have anoth­er recipe I want to make with them. Thank you so much for the idea of doing pos­set!

  4. Hi Oxslip The blood oranges were delivered in my River­ford organ­ic veget­able box — highly recom­men­ded. So glad to hear that you’ve been enjoy­ing Su Blackwell’s work and good luck with the lists of facts.

  5. Thanks for your com­ment Kavey. Mak­ing pos­set is aston­ish­ingly easy isn’t it, and so sat­is­fy­ing. I love the sound of your lem­on pos­set.

  6. I love this post, and the pretty cups too!

    I’ve been eat­ing two blood oranges a day for the last couple of weeks, apart from pomegranates I can think of no more aes­thet­ic­ally pleas­ing fruit — and they taste great and they’re good for you! I made blood orange sorbet last year for my birth­day sup­per in Feb — and served it with a chocol­ate brownie- won­der­ful. I have no prob­lem at all with ‘pos­set’ — good old fash­ioned word.

  7. Hi Liz I’m told that blood oranges have three times the vit­am­in C of ordin­ary ones, so you could do no bet­ter than have two a day. I’m still try­ing to love the word ‘pos­set’, but no suc­cess yet.

  8. River­ford are ace, I’ll have to see if the covered mar­ket can sup­ply as I don’t have a reg­u­lar order at the moment.
    I like the word pos­set, I think I read it first in a children’s book by Alan Garner, or maybe the Wolves of Wil­lougby Chase. The con­text presen­ted it as a com­fort­ing food, and I prob­ably con­flated with pop­pet, so though a bit Eliza­beth­an sound­ing I think it should stick.

  9. At least you took beau­ti­ful pic­tures to off­set your aver­sion to the pudding’s name. As for me, the word pos­set asso­ci­ates with pock­et and so it seems cosy and com­fort­ing, a men­tal image that was bolstered by your tea cup sta­ging.

  10. Hi Sarah I’ll try to trans­fer my thoughts to pock­ets from now on… good plan. I’m very pleased you liked the pic­tures x

  11. Hi Charlie
    Those blood oranges are gor­geous. And that cup and sau­cer too. I’ve nev­er tried a pos­set, per­haps this week…Px

  12. OMG, those blood oranges alone would be worth the price of the entire organ­ic box as far as I’m con­cerned! Too beau­ti­ful. what camera/lens were you using? The pics are spec­tac­u­lar!

    Funny how some words are off-put­ting. Pos­set was cer­tainly at the back of the queue when lyr­ic­al names were handed out… A friend of mine has a near-patho­lo­gic­al aver­sion to the word moist — isn’t it funny what repulses our ears?

  13. Hi Jeanne
    Thank you so much. I have a Can­on 7D and more often than not use a macro lens with it, which I did here.
    I abso­lutely loathe the word ‘moist’ too. I stop read­ing any res­taur­ant or book review if the word so much as makes an appear­ance. Urgh. x

  14. That sounds lovely, I wish I’d seen it when they were still in the shops.
    I once had a (rather deli­cious) Itali­an pud­ding called san­guin­ac­cio (or some­thing like that, haven’t checked spelling!) which is made from pigs’ blood and chocol­ate. Very rich and not for the faint-hearted!

  15. Hi Mary
    Eek, that sounds hor­ribly unap­peal­ing — one of those recipes whose ingredi­ents are best kept secret. It’s very good to hear from you — I always appre­ci­ate it.

  16. Pingback: Blood orange posset - Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography

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