I loved these little gems. although I do have a tiny bone to pick with the idea of including these in the Quick and Easy list. Here are the reasons: 1) "Cool completely." 2) "Allow the syrup 2 hours to distribute into the cake before applying the apple glaze." 3) "Let the glaze set for 30 minutes before filling the cakes." 4) "Refrigerate [the posset] 3 to 4 hours before filling the shortcakes." 5) "Refrigerate the partially filled shortcakes for 1 hour..." 6) "Refrigerate the shortcakes ... for at least 2 hours to set." I was planning a rather spartan dinner because of the possets we were having for dessert, so we were going to have them for dessert. That means I cheated a bit (considerably) on some of those wait times. Other than the fact that I should have started making these in the a.m. iinstead of the p.m., I have no complaints.
My balloon whisk got a workout in this recipe. It's at the ready!
Browning the butter. This task takes a certain bravery because it immediately goes from the perfect point of brownness to being burnt, so I usually don't play chicken. I step back before it's perfectly brown, which just means it's imperfectly brown.
This was always my favorite shot in Heavenly Cake Bakers--when the egg yolks turned into this thick, rich batter. I still love it.
I was absolutely sure that I had another canister of Wondra flour in my pantry, but either I didn't or someone stole it. (That seems unlikely, doesn't it?) I was only about 15 grams short, so I decided not to mess with the cornstarch--I just added 15 grams of cake flour, and had no trouble mixing it in, so I felt like my luck was running on high.
It didn't seem like there was much batter to go into each pan, so I hoped they would rise.
And they did! These cakes always remind me of Twinkies, which was my favorite treat when I was about 10 years old. Rose's shortcakes probably don't have the shelf life of Twinkies, which apparently are no longer made. Maybe if the world as we know it ends, all that will be left are cockroaches and packaged Twinkies.
I think it was genius to use Meyer lemons in the posset. In fact, there was an article in the Guardian about how to make a perfect lemon posset, and several people wrote comments suggesting that orange possets were better than lemon. The particular Meyer lemons that I picked up were very mild--more toward an orange set of flavors than very tart and lemony, and I think the final dessert could have been just hint more tart. If I'd tasted it first, I would have added a very small amount of non-Meyer lemon juice. Still, I think with the creamy, delicate posset, too mellow is better than too sharp.
I was surprised to hear that people were having trouble finding apple jelly, which I would have guessed was the most boring and most obtainable jelly of them all. I bought a bigger jar of Smucker's apple jelly than I wanted, because I probably won't use it for anything else besides this. Its bland sweetness proved to be a good foil, though.
And it makes the shortcakes so pretty and shiny! I had to read the instructions for filling the shortcakes two or three times. Initially, it sounded complicated, but I finally realized they were just saying to skim off the thick part of the posset first and then let the rest firm up. I emptied the posset into two soup bowls, and it thickened readily.
I didn't let it thicken enough before I added the rest--you can see the dribbles down the side. You can also see that the decorative strips of lemon rind didn't turn out as decoratively as they might. In my head, they looked beautiful. In reality, the best I can say for them is that they'd be great if I were trying to do hieroglyphics or some kind of code. Could I convince you that the lemon rind says "Eat me" in ancient Assyrian?