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Acacia panna cotta

Acacia panna cotta
Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Days spent lolling around the blooming fields of lavender and wild sage and hanging out in the fragrant orange orchards. A pause on the way home to lick sweet nectar from honeysuckle blossoms. A session in the home office, transforming ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 10
  • 4 1/2 sheets of gelatin
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup acacia honey, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 3 to 4 blood oranges

Step 1Fill a small bowl with ice water, and insert the gelatin sheets to allow them to soften for 2 to 3 minutes. In a medium saucepan, warm the cream, milk and three-fourths cup honey over medium heat until almost simmering. Remove from the heat.

Step 2Remove the gelatin sheets from the water, wringing out any extra moisture, and add them to the cream mixture. Stir constantly until the gelatin is dissolved.

Step 3In a large bowl, mix the creme fraiche with one-half cup of the warm cream mixture, stirring constantly, to temper. Add the remaining cream and stir well.

Step 4Spray 10 (5-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. Divide the cream mixture between them. Allow to cool, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until completely set, preferably overnight.

Step 5To prepare the oranges for garnish, use a sharp knife to slice off the very top and bottom of each orange. Starting at the top and cutting downward along the curve of the fruit, remove the peel from the fruit, cutting away all of the pith, as well as the outer membrane. Then remove each segment from the fruit by cutting along the membrane between each section; place the segments in a small bowl.

Step 6Before serving, run a blunt-edged knife around the edge of each panna cotta and turn each ramekin upside down on an individual dessert plate. Gently shake until it releases (if the panna cotta does not release, dip the ramekins in simmering water before unmolding). Arrange several blood orange segments alongside the panna cotta and drizzle about one-half teaspoon of honey over each.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Lucques pastry chef Breanne Varela. Acacia honey is available at some specialty grocery stores. Gelatin sheets are available at baking supply stores. This recipe calls for 5-ounce ramekins or molds.


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