Creamy Junket Recipe

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.

An individual serving of junket

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 foodie Facebook 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.

πŸ›’ Ingredients

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.

Individual pots of creamy junket with nutmeg

πŸ₯„ Equipment

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.

πŸ”ͺ 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. 

Step-by-step instruction photos for making the recipe

πŸ’­ 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.

Junket in serving dishes.

πŸ“– Variations

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.

πŸ˜‹ Related recipes

Some more Cornish recipes you might like;

Pin the recipe for later!

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

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  1. I must confess, I've never actually tried junket - but it sounds delicious! :-D Eb x

    1. It's most definitely a nostalgic recipe for me!

  2. I've not heard of junket before, but the flavours sound lovely! Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare.

  3. This sounds really interesting, I have to admit I've not heard of it before, but I am really intrigued when it comes to trying it.

  4. I have heard of this before, but never tried it or even thought of making it. It does sound lovely I will have to give it a go one day

  5. I've never heard of junket before, I'll have to ask my mum if she ever had it as a child.

  6. I've never tried (nor heard of) junket before but it sounds delicious! Handy to know it keeps in the fridge for three days too.

  7. Ive never heard of these before, they look interesting,i will pass the recipe onto my daughter as she is in baking grove at the moment, p.s the glass Ramekins, if there ones that i think they are, top tip a pringle lid fits on them, incase for storage or transportation etc..

  8. I have not heard of junket before although it reminds me of a posset, this recipe looks delicious and something I would love to try

  9. I have never heard of junket before but it sounds quite tasty, especially if you can choose the flavouring x

  10. Oh my gosh! I've never heard of Junket before but know already that I would love it! Don't think I could stop at one portion though! ;) Sim

  11. They say that you learn something new everyday and I can now say yes I have as I have never heard of Junket before...looks yummy x

  12. Miss Muffet produced junket in the '60's in The UK with different flavours. It was really easy to make, but would not have been vegetarian. My Mum made it all the time as she was not the best cook! After you dug in with your spoon, it turned to curds and whey, but it had a lovely smooth texture. Miss Muffet is not in business any more, so it is impossible to find flavoured rennet. Not dissimilar to a light set milk pudding, in a way (but not starchy).