This creamy panna cotta, perfumed with chamomile, is the perfect consistency and the ideal dessert to welcome spring. It’s easy enough to make on a week night, can be made ahead, and, served with shortbread crumbs (recipe below) and a few fresh herbs, it’s a special, dinner guest worthy dessert.
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin (2 teaspoons)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds and pod ( can sub 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
- Pour one cup of the cream into a medium sauce pan; sprinkle the gelatin over the surface and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Heat on low, stirring, until the gelatin has fully dissolved.
- Add in the rest of the cream, vanilla beans scraped from the pod, the pods themselves, chamomile flowers, and the sugar. Cook on medium heat until it’s just about to boil, until one or two bubbles arise around the edges of the pot.
- Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain mixtures through a cheese cloth lines sieve into a bowl. Squeeze the remnants in the cheese cloth to get all of that good chamomile flavor!
- Ladle the mixture into custard cups or whatever dish you choose. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Once set, they can be covered and stored up to 24 hours.
- To unmold (if desired), run enough hot water in a shallow bowl or pan to come 3/4 the way up the sides of your panna cotta cups. Set the panna cotta in the hot water for about 30 seconds and proceed to gently invert onto a plate. Refresh the hot water as needed to continue unmolding the panna cotta.
- Garnish with crumbled shortbread & a little fresh mint. Candied lemon peel would be excellent too! (recipe below).
Adapted from The New York Times