Syllabub dates back to mid-16th Century England and is a simple frothy confection consisting of cream whipped with sugar, lemon and alcohol such as wine, cider, or in this case, sherry.
I added the lavender blossoms because someone recently gave me a bag full and I couldn’t resist. The end result is a rather boozy, flowery fluff that’s really simple to make. On the other hand and if you prefer, don’t bother with the lavender – it isn’t traditional anyway.
Note – as the cream is thinned out with alcohol and lemon juice it does take longer than usual to whip up even with an electric whisk, so I imagine that before kitchen gadgets were invented, whoever had the job of making syllabub must have had pretty hefty arm muscles.
Topped with a scattering of minced crystallized citrus peels and a few edible flowers, it makes a very pretty dish but due to the amount of booze in it, it’s completely unsuitable for children.
Serve syllabub with delicate lemony cookies or perhaps some of those Italian sponge fingers for dunking (ladyfingers).
LAVENDER SCENTED SYLLABUB
4 fl oz (50ml) of sherry
The juice of one lemon
2 oz (50g) of fine white sugar
1/2 pint (275ml) of heavy whipping cream, chilled
Edible flowers and/or candied citrus peels to decorate
1 teaspoon of edible dried lavender blossoms (optional)
Combine the sherry, lemon juice, sugar and lavender in a small bowl and set it aside, covered for a couple of hours, to allow the lavender to soften.
Add the chilled cream to the sherry mixture and whisk until it becomes voluminous and holds its shape.
Divide among small glasses or tip the lot into a pretty glass bowl. Decorate, cover and chill for an hour or so before serving.