30 mins, plus 4 hrs to set
We started with a basic panna cotta base and mixed in some saffron to give it an added dimension. This pairs well with bitter honey, so do your best to find some. If you can’t, you could serve the panna cotta with another type of honey or even with saba, a honeylike syrup made from grapes. This recipe is easy to cut in half if you’re cooking for two.
What to buy: Purchase saffron from a trusted source, as some merchants will try to pawn off old saffron or even turmeric or marigold in its place. Saffron in threads is preferable to ground saffron, as it lasts longer.
Try topping the panna cotta with this bitter honey from Sardinia.
Turkish dried figs are sweet and plump enough to make a dessert on their own, but they pair well with the saffron and honey in this recipe.
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) saffron threads
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup bitter honey
8 dried figs (optional)
Combine cream, milk, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. When it simmers, add saffron, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over water and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk together gelatin and cream mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Fill four ramekins or small dishes with about 1/2 cup of the base. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until mixture is set, about 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, dip the bottoms of the ramekins or small dishes in hot water. Run a knife around the perimeter of the panna cotta, cover with a serving plate, and flip to unmold the panna cotta. Drizzle each panna cotta with 1 tablespoon of bitter honey, and, if using, garnish with a couple of dried figs.
Beverage pairing: A lightly carbonated, sweet glass of Moscato d’Asti is a fruity, clean, and vibrant complement to this creamy dessert. Try the 2005 Saracco.