Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with Mint Jelly
I think I'm getting addicted to panna cottas. This dish is so easy to make. I still have a bunch of Meyer lemons from my garden and my herb box is already full of mint. As I was pulling the weeds out while gardening, it occurred to me that I could make a Meyer lemon panna cotta with a mint jelly.
My husband loved it. The lemon and mint go suprisingly well together, and the contrast in textures between the jelly and panna cotta brings another dimension to the dessert.
Yields: 61 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs Meyer lemon zest
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 3/4 tsp agar powder
3 drops yellow food coloring
1 cup water
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 drops green food coloring
3/4 tsp pure mint extract
8 fresh baby mint leaves
2 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup superfine sugar
For the Meyer lemon panna cotta:
In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of agar powder in the half and half. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and the heavy cream. Bring to a near boil. Immediately add the dissolved agar cream mixture and whisk constantly. Cook for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract, the lemon zest, juice, extract and 2 drops of yellow food coloring.
Pour the liquid into mini glasses. Tilt the glasses for a more dramatic effect. Check my tips section for suggestions on how to do this. Or pour into mini bowls for a dome shape.
For the mint Jelly:
In a bowl, dissolve 3/4 teaspoon of agar powder into 1/4 cup of water. In a small saucepan, heat about 1/4 cup water with the powdered sugar. As soon as the water in bubbly, add the dissolved agar and blend with a mini-whisk constantly for about 10 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the mint extract, the green food coloring and 1 drop of yellow food coloring. Mix well.
Immediately pour the mint jelly into each glass and fill to the top. Let the liquid set for about 2 minutes, then place the mint leaves upside down (the liquid should be a little viscous so that the mint leaves set into the liquid). When the liquid is firm, plastic-wrap each glass and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or overnight.
For the candied meyer lemons:
Preheat the oven to 170°F (the lowest seting of the oven).
Place sugar and water in a pan. Place over medium heat on a stove and cook until sugar is dissolved. Set simple syrup aside to cool.
Cut the lemon into 1/8-inch slices using a sharp chef's knife. Place the slices onto a hot pan over high heat. Make sure the slices are not touching each other. Flip each slices to get a nice caramelized color. Coat the slices with the simple syrup. Remove from the heat.
Place a silicon mat or a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Let the syrup cool down a bit, then remove each slice getting as little syrup as possible.
Place all the slices onto the baking sheet then bake for about 45 minutes. Flip each slices using silicon tongs, then bake that other side for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the lemons cool completely.
Depending on what presentation you'd like, dip the bottoms of the glasses into a hot water bath for a few seconds. Turn out the panna cotta forms onto serving plates. Decorate each plate with a candied Meyer lemon.
You can also drizzle chocolate raspberry sauce over the lemon panna cotta. I used the same sauce for my tiramisu parfait.
You can also serve these panna cotta with lemon curd. It's also a great combination of flavors.
Agar agar powder is a good gelatin substitute for vegans and vegetarians. It is derived from seawood and is cooked the same way you would use gelatin powder. It is widely used in Asia.
You can also use different shaped molds for the panna cotta, like the one for my Vietnamese jello cake.
I slightly tilted the glasses to get a pretty effect like I did for my savory panna cotta. Then you can fill it with a red color fruit jello into the glass and top it with crunchy pralines. I used my 4-year-old sister-in-law's legos to tilt and hold the glasses .
I picked a combination of half and half and heavy cream but you can add any dairy that you prefer if you want a creamier or tart flavor like crème fraîche, buttermilk or milk if you're health conscious.
While waiting for the cream to boil, you have to be very careful. Don't go anywhere else. If the phone rings or someone's at the door, let it be. You gotta focus on your heavy cream otherwise you'll be cleaning your stove and scraping the burnt cream all night long. As soon as some bubbles come up, remove from the stove.
Wait until the liquid cools down completely before refrigerating the dessert. They should be a little jiggly. Refrigerating them for at least 2 hours helps create a firmer consistency.
Published By: on April 30, 2009.