This delicately infused panna cotta is quite possibly one of the sweetest ways to enjoy the aromatic herbs available this autumn. Robust in nature, but delicate in flavour, this delicious dessert simply hints at the aromas of these hardy herbs.
With the blackberry season coming to an unfortunate end, its also time to celebrate this beautiful bramble one final time; and it seems only appropriate to pair them with a fruit at the top of its tree this time of year, the mighty British apple!
All combined, this dessert is a true celebration of this special season!
500ml double cream
200ml full-fat milk
2 rosemary springs
1 fresh bay leaf
1 lemon thyme sprig
1 vanilla pod
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey
3 gelatine sheets
150g apple, cored and finely diced
1 – 2 tsp caster sugar
Pour the cream and milk into a heavy-bottom pan, then add 1 rosemary sprig, the bay, and thyme. Split the vanilla pod lengthways using a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Add both the seeds and pod to the saucepan.
Bring the cream gently to the boil, stirring occasionally to avoid it burning on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the herbs to infuse for 15 minutes. Using a fine sieve, pass the cream into a clean jug and add the honey.
In the meantime, soften the gelatine leaves in water before adding to the cream mixture. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved before setting aside to slightly cool.
When cooled, pour the mixture into 6 small ramekins, place on a tray and put in the fridge to set for 2 – 3 hrs, or overnight.
When ready to serve, put the blackberries and apple in a saucepan along with the gin, sugar and the remaining sprig of rosemary. Stew over a gentle heat for 4 -5 minutes, or until the fruit has slightly softened.
To serve, gently release the panna cottas out of the ramekins – you may need to prise them away from the side slightly using a knife. Turn out into a bowl and spoon in the stewed fruit before garnishing with a little fresh lemon thyme.
Recipe & Photo by Helen Upshall