- Serves: 4-6
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes plus about 1-2 hrs cooling
- Effort: easy
- 2 tbsp dried lavender flowers, picked over, stems removed
- 70 ml full-fat milk
- 1 large lemon, grated zest
- 375 ml double or whipping cream
- 2 sheets gelatine, (or vegetarian equivalent)
- 100 ml water
- 70 g icing sugar
- 6 slivers lemon rind
- 6 lavender flowers
1. Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and add the lavender flowers. Warm them for about 30 seconds or so, stirring all the time. This helps draw out the natural oils and lovely floral aromas. Watch they don't catch and scorch though.
2. Pour in the milk and half the cream, and stir in the grated lemon rind. Bring to a simmer and cook down until it has reduced by about a third.
3. Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave on one side until they have softened. Scrunch-up the gelatine leaves in your hand and lift them out of the water. Add the softened gelatine into the hot cream mixture and stir until dissolved.
4. Leave the cream on one side until lukewarm, and then strain it through a sieve and set aside to cool completely. It's best to give it a stir now and again, just to make sure that the cream doesn't start setting.
5. Whip the remaining cream with the icing sugar until it just holds its shape and fold in the cooled lavender flavoured cream. Pour the panna cotta mixture into 4-6 lightly oiled ramekin dishes or dariole moulds and leave them in the fridge to set for about an hour.
6. To turn out, dip the moulds briefly in boiling water and turn upside down with onto a serving plate. Give the moulds a good shake to one side and turn out the panna cottas. Decorate each one with a grate of lemon rind and a sprinkling of lavender flowers before serving. These panna cottas work really well when accompanied with crisp buttery biscuits.
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