Orange Posset with Rhubarb & Orange Jam and Shortbread Fingers
This delicious and 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 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.
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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.
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
a) 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.