Sea Buckthorn and Thyme Posset

By / Food / August 14th, 2023 / 3

Excerpted from Prairie by Dan Clapson and Twyla Campbell. Copyright © 2023 Dan Clapson and Twyla Campbell. Photographs by Dong Kim. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Dan Clapson: This little-known, age-old dessert has British roots and is an absolute breeze to make. The combination of hot cream, an acidic liquid, and a little sweetener is nothing short of magical. Posset is traditionally made with lemon, but here the juice of intensely tart sea buckthorn berries makes for a great—and very Prairie—substitution. Sea buckthorn berries can be found in the wild, of course, but because of their trees’ sturdy root systems, they became a favourite of farmers to plant as shelter belts for crops. Last but not least, sea buckthorn adds a striking hue to the completed dessert.



  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Nvigorate Seabuckthorn Splash (or Sea Buckthorn Juice, recipe below, see note across)
  • 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2¼ cups heavy (35%) cream
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • Fresh sea buckthorn berries, for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

N O T E : If using the Sea Buckthorn Juice (recipe below) in this recipe, the posset will be noticeably tarter. You can add 1 Tbsp of granulated sugar to the juice to balance this out if desired, but regardless, the end result will still be a tasty one!


To a large pan, add the granulated sugar, Seabuckthorn Splash, ginger, and thyme.

Stir and bring to a simmer over medium- high heat.

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes to let the aromatics infuse.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and discard the ginger root and thyme sprigs.

Place the cream and salt in a medium pot over medium-high heat and heat until just about to simmer, 4–5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and let the cream cook, stirring frequently to keep from scalding, for 5 minutes.

Add the sea buckthorn mixture to the pot and stir. The contents of the pot will appear notably thickened. Continue to cook while stirring for about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and divide the mixture between six ramekins or small heat-safe bowls.

Let sit until back at room temperature and then place uncovered in the fridge to cool and set, approximately 4 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the posset from the fridge and top with a few sea buckthorn berries and thyme.

The posset can be made up to 5 days in advance. If being made in advance, cover with plastic wrap until you’re ready to garnish and serve.



Twyla Campbell: The sea buckthorn is a deciduous bush native to Europe and Asia and introduced into Canada in the 1800s. If left untended, the plant is known to quickly spread and is considered invasive. However, the berries of the bush have long been known for their nutritional content and used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications, so the berry itself is quite treasured.

The bush is drought and salt resistant and grows just as well along highways as it does now planted in orchards. The berries are about the size of cranberries and are highly acidic. The flavour of the berry’s juice is similar to lemon and works well as a substitute in recipes where lemon juice is required. If you can’t find fresh berries in orchards or in the wild, check your local grocery store’s freezer section.


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sea buckthorn berries
  • 1 cup water


To a small pot, add the berries and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.

Place a medium fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and add the softened berries.

Press gently with the back of a large spoon or cocktail muddler to extract as much juice as you can from the berries.

The pulp that remains can be discarded.

Store the juice in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. Shake before use.

DAN CLAPSON is the Globe and Mail restaurant critic for the Canadian Prairies and the co-founder of the food media and events company Eat North. He has contributed to many publications including Out Magazine, Eater, Xtra, RICARDO, and enRoute. He is also a regular guest expert on radio and TV shows like Global News, CTV Morning Live, and more. Clapson co-owns the popular Calgary bar and event space The Prairie Emporium which holds a wide range of culinary, music, and cultural events year round.

TWYLA CAMPBELL is CBC Edmonton radio’s long-standing food columnist and a freelance writer who has written for several food and travel publications including AFAR, Matador Network, enRoute, and AMA Insider. She is a go-to source when it comes to the topic of all things culinary and sits on several national and local food judging panels. Twyla’s first book, Maps, Markets and Matzo Ball Soup, was released in October 2018 and debuted at #1 on the Book Publishers Association of Alberta’s Bestseller Non-Fiction list.


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