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.



  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. Hi Jakey and thanks… the blood orange juice turns it a fantastic colour and it really does taste good.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Hi CharlieThose blood oranges are gorgeous. And that cup and saucer too. I've never tried a posset, perhaps this week…Px

  13. 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?

  14. Hi JeanneThank 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

  15. 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!

  16. Hi MaryEek, 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. Charlie

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