Mary Berry’s lemon syllabub is the perfect light and refreshing dessert for any occasion. This no-bake British classic comes together in just a few easy steps by infusing lemon and white wine into a sweet syrup, and then folding it into billowy whipped cream.
In this complete guide, I’ll walk you through how to make Mary Berry’s elegant lemon syllabub from start to finish. With fresh citrus flavor, a smooth mousse texture, and simple ingredients, this syllabub delivers an unforgettable creaminess and zing.
Keep reading for my tips on mastering Mary’s technique for infused syrup, properly whipping the cream, and wowing guests with this palate-cleansing finale.
I’ll also share serving suggestions and storage tips for enjoying this lemon dessert again and again.
What is Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub?
Mary Berry’s lemon syllabub is a light and frothy British dessert made by infusing lemon peel and juice in sweetened wine, and then folding the lemon syrup into whipped cream.
Traditional syllabubs date back to the 17th century and were made by curdling milk or cream with wine or citrus. The curdled dairy produced a thick, creamy mixture lightened with air.
Mary Berry’s version uses lemon as the citrus and white wine as the acid to curdle and infuse flavor into the cream. The result is a dessert with a smooth, mousse-like texture and bright citrus notes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Mary Berry’s lemon syllabub is refreshing and elegant.
Here’s why it makes a fabulous dessert:
- The lemon and wine-infused syrup provides an incredible depth of flavor
- It comes together easily with just 5 key ingredients
- Has a light and airy texture unlike dense lemon curd
- Bright citrus flavor perfectly balances the sweet cream
- The perfect elegant finale to a dinner party or special meal
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 100ml sweet white wine
- 75g caster sugar
- 300ml double cream
Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub
- Wash and dry the lemon thoroughly.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel long, thick strips of the lemon rind. Try to avoid the bitter white pith underneath.
- Juice the lemon and strain the juice into a bowl. Set aside.
Step 2 – Make the infused syrup
- Pour 100ml white wine into a saucepan.
- Add the peeled lemon rinds and strained lemon juice.
- Stir in 75g of caster sugar.
- Gently heat the mixture, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, remove it from heat.
- Allow the mixture to cool and infuse for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Step 3 – Strain and reserve lemon syrup
- Pour the cooled lemon syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Discard the solids.
- Reserve some of the lemon peel strips, cutting them into fine strips. Set aside for garnish.
Step 4 – Whip the cream
- Pour 300ml of chilled double cream into the bowl of lemon syrup.
- Using a hand mixer or whisk, whip the cream until it thickens and just holds its shape. Be careful not to overbeat.
Step 5 – Assemble and chill
- Divide the whipped lemon cream between 6 glasses or jars.
- Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until set.
Step 6 – Garnish and serve
- Top each syllabub with reserved strips of candied lemon peel.
- Keep chilled until ready to serve.
- Enjoy this light and refreshing dessert!
How Do I Serve Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub?
Mary Berry’s lemon syllabub can be served:
- On its own as a light dessert
- In stemmed glasses or ramekins as an elegant finish to a meal
- Topped with berries, toasted nuts, or sweetened whipped cream for extra flavor and texture
- Alongside shortbread cookies or scones for dipping
Chill the syllabub for at least 30 minutes before serving so it sets up. The leftovers will be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days.
What Do I Serve with Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub?
Here are some tasty treats that pair wonderfully with Mary Berry’s zesty lemon syllabub:
- Sweet biscuits like shortbread or langues de chat for dipping
- Fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries
- Toasted nuts like almonds, pistachios or walnuts
- Whipped cream or creme fraiche
- Lemon cookies or lemon cake
- Fresh mint leaves or edible flowers
I like to serve the syllabub in a pretty glass with a shortbread cookie on the side for texture. Fresh berries make for beautiful, colorful toppings too.
Tips and Mistakes to Avoid When Making Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub
Follow these tips for the perfect Mary Berry lemon syllabub every time:
- Make sure the cream is very cold before whipping it to proper thickness.
- Don’t overbeat once stiff peaks form or it can become grainy.
- Fold in lemon syrup gently to avoid curdling the whipped cream.
- Use full-fat dairy for the best flavor and creamy texture.
- Chill completely before serving, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Avoid letting it sit at room temp and becoming runny.
How to Store Mary Berry Lemon Syllabub
Mary Berry’s lemon syllabub can be stored:
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Press plastic wrap onto the surface before covering to prevent a skin forming.
- For longer storage, freeze in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- Pre-portion into glasses or ramekins, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for quick easy desserts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make the syllabub ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the mixture up to 2 days in advance and store it covered in the fridge until ready to serve. Whip again before serving to regain the airy texture.
What can I do if the syllabub starts to separate?
Whip briefly to reincorporate. Adding 1-2 tbsp cream while whipping can help stabilize it.
What if syllabub is still too thin?
Chill for 1-2 hours to help it set up after whipping. Make sure the cream is thoroughly chilled.
Can I freeze syllabub?
Yes! Freeze in airtight containers or ice cube trays for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
How long does it keep in the fridge?
It will last 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Mastering this elegant dessert is easy with cold cream, gentle folding, and proper chilling before serving. Adjust the citrus and sweetness to your taste and enjoy this silky syllabub after a nice dinner or for a light finish to any meal.