eye catching dessert is perfect when hosting a dinner party not least
because it is super easy to make, looks and tastes amazing, but needs to be made a few hours
ahead of time allowing you to be the perfect attentive host! The luxurious orange posset is teamed with a naturally vibrant
rhubarb and orange jam, which not only provides aesthetic interest and
combines a flavour combination which really works, but the sharpness of
the rhubarb breaks up the richness of the dessert beautifully.
I love desserts. Puddings. Afters. Sweets. What ever you want to call them they have my name all over them. Whether they're homely like a Mincemeat & Apple Galette, traditional like a Yorkshire Curd Tart, or complex like a Marjolaine I just love desserts.
But for me, easy, eye catching, and delicious desserts are what's called for when we have dinner guests coming round. Even better if the recipe can be made way ahead of time to allow me to natter and entertain our friends and family rather than being stuck in a hot kitchen where it's easy to become stressed over how long things may be taking. Delicious make ahead desserts are certainly what's called for, and if you need some further dinner party dessert inspiration why not check out my 20 Awesome Dinner Party Desserts from top UK food bloggers!
Our easy Orange Posset with Rhubarb and Orange Jam and Shortbread Fingers is one such easy dessert which is perfect when hosting a dinner party. Possets are very easy to make. It's simply a case of heating the cream and sugar together for a few minutes and then adding some freshly squeezed citrus juice and zest (traditionally lemon is used, but it also works with orange and I imagine grapefruit would work equally well too). The juice, as well as providing flavour, naturally thickens the cream. There's no need to reach for the balloon whisk with a posset recipe, the wonderful citrus juice does all the hard work for you!
This Orange Posset recipe is layered up with a delicious rhubarb jam, it not only marries two flavours which complement one another perfectly, but also provides some visual interest to the dessert when served. That layer of deep crimson rhubarb and orange jam is striking set against the creamy notes of the posset.
Of course that rhubarb and orange jam isn't just there for its aesthetic appeal. The sharpness of the rhubarb cuts through the rich and creamy nature of the posset beautifully as well as bringing a different flavour and texture dimension.
Infact that rhubarb and orange jam was the perfect filling in our Rhubarb and Custard Genoise Cake too!
This easy orange posset recipe is made even more amazing when served with a couple of homemade shortbread fingers. These were flavoured with a little orange zest too which helped to tie the dessert together even more. Of course, if you're not feeling inclined to make homemade shortbread fingers, shop bought ones would be just as lovely or even omit them altogether if you prefer.
These amazingly delicious Orange Possets with Rhubarb Jam were assembled in cute glass jars which, in a 'previous life', were sat on a shelf in Aldi and held yogurt! They were far too nice to pop into the recycling container or even, heaven forbid, thrown in the bin! They were recycled in the best way there is by re-using them. Their 140ml volume made them the perfect size and shape for presenting our orange posset dessert. Of course though, the dessert would look great served in wine glasses too.
So, here's how to make Orange Posset with Rhubarb & Orange Jam and Shortbread Fingers.
Orange Posset with Rhubarb & Orange Jam and Shortbread Fingers
For the Rhubarb & Orange Jam
- 4–5 slender sticks of Rhubarb washed
- 2 oranges finely grated zest and juice
- 1 lemon juice of
- 2–3 tbsp caster sugar
For the Shortbread Fingers (optional)
- 200 g butter (7oz)
- 100 g caster sugar (3½oz) plus a little extra for sprinkling
- 200 g plain flour (7oz)
- 100 g cornflour (3½oz)
For the Orange Posset
- 300 ml double cream (½pt)
- 75 g caster sugar (3oz)
- 2 oranges – finely grated zest of 1 and juice of 2
For the Rhubarb Battons (optional)
- 1 slender stick of rhubarb washed
Make the jam.
- Remove the ends of the rhubarb. Cut the rhubarb into roughly 2cm (1in) pieces and put into a small pan with the orange juice and half of the orange zest. (reserve the remaining orange zest for the shortbread).Set the pan on the hob over a low to medium light. Allow the rhubarb to cook and break down, stirring periodically. Add 2 tbsp sugar and stir. Continue cooking the jam until it has substantially reduced in volume and is a nice thick mixture. Taste and add a little more sugar as necessary.
Make the shortbread dough.
- Place the butter and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until soft and fluffy. Add the remaining orange zest and beat again until well combined. Sieve the flour and cornflour into the mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix together. Once well combined use your hand to bring the dough together. Avoid overworking and handling it.
- Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper into an oblong or square shape. You’re aiming for it to be about 1cm (½ in) thick. Use a sharp knife to trim the dough edges to neaten. Cut the dough into slender fingers about 2cm x 7cm (1 x 3in).
- Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Allow some space between each finger for a small amount of spreading during the bake. Gather together any off cuts and re-roll once only. Cut out more biscuits. Use the tines of a fork to gently impress indentations into the top of each biscuit.
- Place the baking sheet into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the orange posset.
- Place the cream and sugar into a large pan. Stir to combine. Set on the hob over a low light to allow the sugar to dissolve. Once the sugar is dissolved you will no longer hear or feel the granulations of it when the cream is stirred. Increase the temperature under the pan. Allow the cream to come to the boil. Stirring continuously boil the cream for 3 minutes.
- Take off the heat. Add the orange zest and about three-quarters of the orange juice. Stir thoroughly. The cream will begin to thicken fairly instantly. Taste and add more orange juice as desired
- Carefully spoon the prepared posset into your chosen containers. Aim for the containers to be about a quarter to a third full. Wipe the container clean as necessary with a clean cloth. Place the containers in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the posset to firm up.
Bake the shortbread
- Pre-heat the oven to 170℃ / 160℃ Fan / 325℉ / Gas 3. Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until the biscuits are turning slightly golden brown around the edge. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle them with a little caster sugar. Allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack until completely cold.
Prepare the rhubarb batons (optional).
- Once the shortbread has been removed from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 130℃ / 110℃ Fan / 230℉ / Gas ¼. Trim the ends off the rhubarb stem. Cut the stem into 5 – 6cm (2-2½in) long batons. Lay them on a baking tray. Place into the centre of the cooled oven and bake for 10 minutes. They should be tender when a sharp knife is inserted. Remove from the oven and set the batons aside to cool.
- Once the rhubarb & orange jam has completely cooled and the individual possets in the fridge have set (you’ll know this by tilting the container a little – it shouldn’t more). Use a teaspoon to add a layer of the prepared rhubarb jam to the chilled possets. Top the jam with the remaining posset.
- Cover the posset containers with clingfilm. Place them into the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours. . Serve the possets either on their own or with shortbread fingers, baked rhubarb batons and a slice of orange.
- 4 x 140ml glasses – such as wine glasses or even recycled glass yogurt pots! Baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper
Cook's Tipsa) The possets can be made the day ahead and left covered in the fridge until required. b) If making the shortbread fingers aim to use a good quality unsalted butter, as most of the biscuit’s flavour comes from the butter. c) Store the shortbread fingers in an airtight container. d) Aim to use forced rhubarb for this dessert, its colour will provide a richer colour than summer rhubarb. e) If preparing the rhubarb batons, be aware that they will require slightly longer in the oven if they are a little thicker.
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