Sunday, July 13, 2014

elderflower panna cotta

This has been the best year for elderflowers I can remember.  I've posted here before about elderflower champagne, but this year I wanted to try something different.  A recipe for elderflower panna cotta caught my eye and seemed the perfect, cool, soothing dessert for this hot, muggy time of year.

Unfortunately, the recipe was not good.  My first attempt separated and was chalky.  Feh.

Fortunately, the internet is a very accomodating place, and I soon realized that the first recipe had not only left out several essential steps, but the proportions of cream and milk weren't to my liking.

Also fortunately, this has been a banner year for elderflowers, so picking a whole bunch more wasn't too difficult.

Elderflower Panna Cotta
2 cups elderflowers, removed from the stems (mostly)
2.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups whole milk
1 Tbs. unflavored gelatin powder
5 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. water

Stir together the elderflowers and cream, then refrigerate and let steep for 3-5 days.  (Yes.  You have to plan ahead.)

When steepage is complete and you're actually ready to begin cooking, sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water to let it bloom.  It will be ready by the time you need it.  Strain the cream, pressing the flowers to get out as much liquid as possible.

Combine the strained cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan and bring it just to a simmer, then remove from the heat.  Whisk in the bloomed gelatin until completely dissolved, and rub a little of the liquid between your fingers to make sure it's silky, not grainy.

Place the saucepan in an ice bath (shallow pot or pan with a combo of ice cubes and water) and whisk until the liquid is lukewarm (essential step!).

Pour the liquid into mini-canning jars or ramekins and refrigerate until jiggly (4 hours or overnight).  I used 4 oz. canning jars because I have a ton, they're cute, and I appreciate that each can be covered individually without using that infernal plastic wrap.

I'm sorry I forgot to take a photo of the final product.  Perhaps that was because they disappeared so fast.


At July 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

I can so imagine elderflower panna cotta! It's well past elderflower season here, and I didn't dry any (used them all for champers), but next year!

At July 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Cayce Hill said...

Your elderflower photo is beautiful. I love the idea of using canning jars, too.

At July 14, 2014 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Mark said...

And was the final try really good? Sounds good. I want to know where you found the time! You are too much, Woman.

At July 14, 2014 at 3:46 PM , Blogger Ellen Spector Platt said...

Does the top brown during the baking? Do you need a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon for pretty?

At July 14, 2014 at 3:49 PM , Blogger Ellen Spector Platt said...

Unfortunately I didn't read carefully enough, no final baking, only in my head.

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