Creamy Junket Recipe (2024)

A light and frugal milky pudding, popular in medieval England. My modern version of Junket uses vegetarian rennet and is served with Cornish clotted cream and fresh raspberries.

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Junket is one of those old English recipes that was popular with our Grandparents, but has latterly fallen out of favour.

I'm all for reviving old foodie trends, and after asking members of my foodieFacebook group if they had any memories of eating junket as children, it was clear that this low cost milky pudding was held in quite high regard by some, and also bought back nostalgic memories of their childhood.

What is Junket?

Junket is an old English dessert made with creamy milk, sugar and other flavourings like nutmeg. The milk is curdled with rennet (rennin enzyme), which gives it a soft, creamy pudding like texture. If you were trying to compare it with something, it's a lot like a set milk jelly.

It was especially popular in south-west England (including Cornwall) due to the regions production of high quality creamy milk.

In medieval England, junket was a food of the nobility, and was thought to have evolved from an older French dish called jonquet.


This simple recipe calls for just 5 ingredients;

  • Full-fat creamy milk
  • Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (my modern addition to the recipe)
  • Rennet (I used vegetarian rennet which I bought from my local health food shop, but it can also be purchased online).
  • A small grating of fresh nutmeg.
  • I served the junket with fresh raspberries and clotted cream for an easy dessert.

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You will need a heavy bottomed pan to heat the milk, and a thermometer.

I like to serve junket in individual shallow glass ramekins, but you can also serve it in one large dish.

🔪How to make junket

Step One: Begin by gently warming the milk to 32°C. If a thermometer isn't available, ensure the milk feels warm to the touch, but not hot.

Step Two: Next, thoroughly whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract.

Step Three: Add 15 drops of rennet into the mixture. Stir briskly, then promptly pour the mixture into your selected serving dishes.

Step Four: Allow the junket to set for approximately 3 hours at room temperature.

Step Five: Once set, transfer the dishes to the refrigerator.

Step Six: When ready to serve, garnish with a sprinkling of grated nutmeg, a selection of fresh fruits, and a dollop of clotted cream.

Creamy Junket Recipe (3)

💭Top tips

  • A thermometer would be useful, in order to get an accurate temperature of the milk.
  • Once you have poured the milk mixture into the serving dish(s), do not disturb or try to move them before the junket has set.

🍴Serving suggestions

Junket makes an excellent dessert option for young children, given that it is prepared with full-fat milk and contains only a minimal amount of sugar.

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A few individuals in my Facebook group shared that their grandparents enjoyed this dish with crumbled pieces of Jacob's Cream Crackers.

Instead of nutmeg you might like to try flavouring it with other spices like cardamom or cinnamon.

Fresh berries and fruits can add a burst of colour and freshness to your junket. You can choose from a range of options such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. These fruits not only provide a pop of colour but also add a sweet and tangy flavour that complements the creaminess of the junket.

If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to consider adding some sweet toppings to your junket. You can choose from a variety of options such as honey, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, or caramel sauce.

🧊Suitable for freezing?

Unfortunately junket isn't suitable for home freezing. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If your junket is not setting, there are a few potential causes.

Firstly, make sure that you are using fresh milk, as old milk can prevent the rennet from working properly.

Additionally, ensure that the milk is not too hot or too cold when you add the rennet, as this can also affect the setting process.

Another possible issue is the quality of the rennet. If you are using a liquid rennet, check the expiration date and make sure it has been stored correctly.

If your junket has a texture that is too soft or too firm, there are a few things to consider.

Firstly, check that you are using the correct amount of rennet for the amount of milk you are using. Too little rennet can result in a soft texture, while too much can make the junket too firm.

Another factor to consider is the temperature of the milk.

If the milk is too hot or too cold when the rennet is added, it can affect the texture of the final product.

It is recommended to use a thermometer to ensure that the milk is at the correct temperature before adding the rennet.

If your junket has a grainy texture, it may be due to curdling or incomplete separation of the curds and whey. This can be caused by using milk that is too acidic or adding the rennet too quickly.

Try using fresher milk and adding the rennet more slowly to avoid this issue.

❓ Frequently asked questions

What is Junket?

Junket is a traditional dessert made from sweetened milk curdled with rennet. It's known for its delicate texture and mild flavour.

What is rennet and where can I find it?

Rennet is an enzyme that helps milk coagulate. It's available in liquid form in most supermarkets or health food stores.

😋Related recipes

Some more Cornish recipes you might like;

Scones with jam and clotted cream

Cornish Fairings

Cornish Clotted Cream Shortbread

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Creamy Junket Recipe (5)

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Creamy Junket Recipe (2024)
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