This is a grapefruit Posset. It has been around for a very long time, but chances are you’ve never heard of it. It is like a perfectly executed panna cotta, in texture and taste, but it is made without the gelatin. There is no fear that you will end up with creamy jello because you added too much gelatin. As a result you have to serve it in a cup because it’s so perfectly soft and it can’t hold its shape if inverted onto a plate. I’m smitten with this dessert and believe in my heart of hearts that it will become the next big thing in restaurants. Well, it should be at least.
The creamy grapefruit posset really needs no accessories, so you can serve it all by itself. But, I wanted to layer on the grapefruit flavor, so I made a bed of pound cake and then topped it with a grapefruit and Campari gelee. It is very rich, but the grapefruit and slight bitterness of the campari create a sophisticated “creamsicle” that is super refreshing.
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons grapefruit zest (optional, but gives a stronger flavor)
Grapefruit Campari Gelee:
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cups grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons Campari (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
Garnish: (all are optional, but they add a bit of texture to the dessert)
Micro greens (I stole this idea from one of my favorite restaurants in town) or edible flowers.
Crushed pistachios or other nut
Dehydrated raspberries, but fresh would also be lovely.
To make the cake layer, which is entirely optional, but tasty:
Have ready eight 6-ounce cups or jars. I suggest using glass so you can see the layers. The jars I used are from Weck.
I just baked my grapefruit pound cake recipe in a sheet pan, instead of a loaf pan. It was baked in about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it, you don’t want it to over bake. I used a round biscuit or circle cutter to stamp out the right sized piece to go into the cups. Once the cake is in the cups, I soaked the cake with the glaze. (You will likely have some cake left over, which makes a great snack as you prepare the rest of the dessert.)
To make the grapefruit posset:
This may be the simplest recipe on my blog. Just heat the cream, sugar and vanilla over medium heat. Let it come to a gentle simmer for 3 minutes. There should be lots of small bubbles, but not a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the grapefruit juice and zest. You will notice it thickening right away, but it won’t be truly set until it is fully chilled. Let the posset sit for about 5 minutes before straining (you only need to strain if you have added zest) filling your cups.
This my friends is a confectionery funnel. It is one of those geeky kitchen tools that you might wonder how useful it is, until you use it. I have to admit that it sat in my cupboard for a fair amount of time before I decided to give it a try and now, like the posset, it is my favorite thing in the kitchen. I have made desserts for my whole career by carefully pouring from a measuring cup and hoping not to spill or make an enormous mess. I’ll admit, this isn’t a global issue, but it is a pain in the arse. The funnel allows you to pour accurately, without drips and have more control over the amount. It can be used for filling dainty cups of posset or making a bunch of pancakes on Sunday morning for a crowd of people. No spills, all the same size and it goes in the dishwasher. I was so taken with the funnel that I asked the good folks at Rosle if they’d be willing to give one away so you could try it out. They’ve generously agreed and I have one for a lucky winner I will pick at random. Just leave me a comment about how you’d use it.*
Once the posset has sat for 5 minutes you can fill the cups.
Allow the posset to chill for at least 3 hours, but it can be made the day before. You can serve them just as is or with some fresh fruit, but I added a layer of grapefruit gelee to add some contrast to the richness of the cream.
To make the gelee:
First you’ll need to “bloom” the gelatin in COLD water. This just means that the gelatin absorbs the water and softens. Let it sit while you heat the grapefruit juice.
In a small sauce pot heat the grapefruit juice, campari and sugar. Once it comes to a simmer add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let it cool for about 10 minutes.
If you have a funnel, fill it with the gelatin mixture and put a thin layer over the posset. If not, carefully pour it from a measuring cup.
It will be very liquidy at this point, but will set firm in the refrigerator. Let set for about an hour.
Serve with the micro greens, nuts and raspberries or nothing at all.
*Leave a comment for a chance to win the funnel. Only shipped in the USA.