When life hands you lemons, make this super duper summer lemon posset - a simple dessert that packs a very big punch.

Self-taught food and beer expert Melissa Cole, who will pass on her knowledge at the Richmond Food and Beer (Fab) Festival this summer, shares her lemon posset recipe ahead of the festival and matches it with a fine beer.

The dessert actually started life as a drink and had three layers - a snowy foam or aerated crust on top, a smooth spicy custard in the middle and a pungent alcoholic liquid at the bottom.

Melissa says: "This, however, is simply a dessert, which is how we are more likely to see it these days.

"I’ve used very aromatic, tropical fruity beer here to alleviate some of that rich creaminess of the dessert.

"These are also great make-ahead solutions for dinner parties, they’ll be happy, covered, in the fridge for 24 hours."

Lemon Posset


2 small or 1 very large unwaxed lemon (Amalfi if you can get them)
1 lime
100g golden caster sugar
425ml extra thick double cream
50ml Adnams Mosaic Pale Ale (or Oakham Citra available at Real Ale, Twickenham)
150ml ginger cordial (I used Bottle Green Ginger and Lemongrass)
Fine sea salt


1. Grate the zest from your lemons and limes separately and then juice both fruits- you need 100ml of juice in total. Reserve any extra for finishing flourish
2. Place 25ml of the beer, a teeny pinch of sea salt, citrus juice, only the lemon zest, sugar and 50ml of the cordial in a pan and slowly heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is nicely viscous, should coat the back of a spoon easily
3. At the same time, gently heat the cream until it’s just about to boil, stir, then pour in the syrup and combine well with a silicon spatula, try to minimise bubbles
4. Pass through a sieve into a small jug, allow to cool slightly
5. Pour into your ramekins and if you want a lovely smooth finish just run a chef’s blow torch over the top until all the bubbles pop
6. Allow to cool and then refrigerate
7. Heat the remaining cordial, beer and any juice with the lime zest in a pan - reduce gently until able to coat the back of a spoon
8. Once the syrup is nice and sticky, scrape into a jug and allow to cool in fridge with the posset for a couple of hours
9. Before serving your main course, pour your syrup over the possets - you can run blow torch over again quickly to remove any bubbles in syrup - and leave out of fridge, they taste better when not heavily chilled
10. Serve with a Twickenham Ales Sundancer or the same beer you used - cheers!

The author of Let Me Tell You About Beer will give a food and drink matching talk at the Fab Festival in Old Deer Park, Richmond, against the backdrop of artisan food sellers and music from the Crawdaddy Club.

Fab Friday Freebies

For the chance to win a brewery tour at Twickenham Fine Ales and a case of Sundancer Ale, just answer this question: What is the title of Melissa Cole’s book?

Send your answer to theteam@richmondfoodandale.co.uk by June 27. Winners will be notified by email on July 4.

Richmond Food and Beer Festival; Old Deer Park, Richmond; August 23 to 25; 10am to 10pm; £12 to £40; richmondfoodandale.co.uk.