No-Bake Lemon Custards With Strawberries
Ultracreamy but still ethereally light, these individual custards are set with lemon juice rather than eggs, cornstarch or gelatin. They are thick and velvety, but not overly rich, with a bright, clean citrus flavor. Based on a British dessert called a posset, the key is to simmer the cream and sugar before adding the fresh lemon juice, giving the cream a chance to thicken slightly. In this summery version, the custards are served with a topping of syrupy, sugared strawberries and a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, which adds a gentle spicy note without overwhelming the fruit.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2cups heavy cream
- ⅔cup granulated sugar
- 2teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 to 2 lemons)
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- ⅓cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
- 1cup sliced strawberries
- 1to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
Step 1In a medium saucepan, combine cream, sugar, lemon zest and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Simmer vigorously until mixture thickens slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 2Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let sit until mixture has cooled slightly and a skin forms on top, about 20 minutes.
Step 3Stir mixture, then strain through fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup with a spout; discard zest. Pour mixture evenly into six 6-ounce ramekins or small bowls.
Step 4Refrigerate, uncovered, until set, at least 3 hours.
Step 5As the custards chill, prepare the strawberry topping: Toss strawberries and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Let fruit macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the sugar is dissolved.
Step 6To serve, top each lemon custard with some strawberry topping and grind black pepper on top.