Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Curd
THEME: #248 LEMON LOVE
For this week’s theme, I’ve made a Lavender and Lemon infused panna cotta with lemon curd. Lemons are bright yellow citrus fruits with an acidic juice. Lemons are an integral part of many dishes, from just a dash of the juice to including whole lemons.
This week’s theme was suggested by Waagmi who blogs at Cooking is Funn. Her photography speaks volumes, making every dish appear delectable. She suggested we use Lemon to prepare our dish for this week’s theme. Most of us are still cooking with basic ingredients that are available in our pantries. Keeping lemon in mind I would love to try out Waagmi’s simple and yet tempting Eggless Lemon Cake.
Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed anything with lemon in it. Right from adding lemon to my tea time chevdo to enjoying lemon on my chips (fries) while most kids enjoyed tomato ketchup. I do have a tendency to add a bit more of lemon to the dishes I prepare till hubby will remind me that its too sour for him. While I need to drizzle lemon on muthia and arvi na paan, he doesn’t. I can enjoy a whole bowlful of salad with lemon juice drizzled over it.
I remember during our trip to Italy, when we reached Sorrento, it was bright yellow lemons everywhere. As we climbed up the steep hill in the bus, it suddenly topped at a lemon cart selling lemonade… the freshest ever lemonade we enjoyed on a very hot summery day. Lemons grown there are called Sorrento Lemons and besides using them in sauces and desserts, they are used to the the famous Limoncello, a liqueur that is cloudy yellow and usually served after dinner. Its seems that lemons are a major part of all living around Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Positano. Everywhere you look, in the clothes, pottery, artwork, lemons feature in a big way.
The other famous lemons that most chefs rave about is the Meyer Lemon, that grows in California. These lemons are suppose to be less acidic than regular lemons as its a cross breed between a citron and pomelo. They tend to be slightly sweetish and tangy. Till I get the opportunity to try out these Meyer Lemons, local lemons will do.
I got those Fragrant Lemons
For this theme I didn’t want to use the small very acidic lemons that are grown here in Kenya. For my dish I wanted to use the more aromatic and less tangy lemon as the zest is really flavorful. Waited for my delivery of veggies and fruits till Friday hoping that imported lemons will be amongst the goodies. And yes, was lucky got the lemons. So with 3 aromatic, slightly expensive lemons in hand I decided to make the so flavorful and aromatic Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Curd.
What is Lemon Curd?
Please do not mistake it to be curd in the curd sense that most of India is use to to…. here curd is not yogurt. Its a preparation from egg yolks, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. Its a very English condiment dating back to 1800. Back then it was not what we prepare now. Literally lemon juice was used to curdle cream, the curd or cheese separated from the whey using a cheesecloth. These days the preparation method has changed but not the name…. its actually like a velvety creamy custard. Other fruits like orange, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, passion fruit, berries are also used to prepare curd. This velvety creamy curd is used mostly for bakes, desserts and also enjoyed with pancakes.
What is Panna Cotta?
Panna Cotta is a famous Italian dessert that literally means cooked cream. Traditionally just heavy or double cream is heated slightly and a gelling agent mostly gelatin is added to set it. Panna Cotta is one dessert that is very easy to prepare as is a very versatile dessert as one can serve it with topped with fresh fruits, fruit sauces, coulis, jelly, chocolate, nuts, etc. The options are endless.
- I’ve made flavored panna cotta and topped it with nuts – Rose, Saffron and Pandan Panna Cotta.
- Pomegranate and Vanilla Panna Cotta where I made a vanilla flavored Panna Cotta and topped with a Pomegranate Jelly.
- Mango Panna Cotta, served with fresh chopped mangoes. This recipe is slightly different as I’ve used agar agar and yogurt to make the panna cotta, making it a vegetarian friendly dessert.
- Vanilla Chia Panna Cotta – I added a bit of chia seeds to the panna cotta and topped it up with homemade chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.
Why did I decide to use Lavender?
Well, firstly because Lavender and Lemon pair very well and secondly I had Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta on my ‘do to list’ for a long time. I had bought some Provence Dried Lavender Buds during my last visit to Montreal. So aromatic and flavourful. Provence in France is the place where you’ll find miles and miles of lavender fields and it produces the best lavender for culinary and other products. Just to witness miles of purple flowers, Provence is on my travel wish list.
Some Lemon Recipes you may want to try out:
- My all time favorite is Lemon Pickle, which you’ll find most of the time in my fridge.
- If I run out of lemon pickle then the Lemon Chutney comes to my rescue.
- I can’t wait to get some fresh figs to bake this Fig Lemon Cake again.
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cheesecake is a party pleaser.
- Eggless Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are ideal for summer tea parties and picnics.
- Whenever I have plain rice leftover, it turns into the ever so flavorful Lemon Rice. And I don’t have to share it with my hubby as he finds it tangy:)
- Enjoy a refreshing Basil Mint Lemon Drink or the Nimbu Pani or Mint Lemon Juice to beat the heat and stay hydrated.
- Blueberry Iced Tea without lemon is not complete.
- Waagmi’s Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
- Poonam’s Lemon Semolina Cake with tutti frutti bits is a recipe that I would love to try.
- Lemons are used to prepare a soup like curry called Lemon Rasam which Aruna loves to serve with rice or sip on its own.
Ingredients for Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Curd:
- Lemon Juice – for the lemon curd
- Lemon zest – for both the panna cotta and the lemon curd. You grate the lemon peel using a fine grater, and that is the zest. Be careful not to grate the white part of the rind or skin otherwise dish will become bitter.
- Double Cream or Thick Fresh Cream – for the panna cotta
- Milk – just using cream would make the panna cotta too rich so I’ve used also normal dairy milk. The milk is also used to infuse the lavender buds.
- Water – to bloom the gelatin
- Gelatin – to set the panna cotta. You can replace the gelatin with a vegetarian gelatin or agar agar.
- Lavender Buds – culinary pesticide or chemical free dried lavender buds. If you don’t have any then just make a lemon panna cotta. I used it for the panna cotta. The buds are allowed to infuse in hot milk for 15-30 minutes before using.
- Sugar – normal granulated sugar for both the panna cotta and the curd.
- Egg Yolks – for the lemon curd, make sure you don’t have any white left when separating the egg yolks from the white.
- Butter – unsalted or salted for the lemon curd
- Gluten Free
- For an egg free and gelatin free version you can replace the gelatin with vegetarian gelatin or agar agar. As for the Lemon Curd vegan version is made using cornflour but I haven’t tried. If you have, please share the recipe with me and I will add the link to the post.
LAVENDER LEMON PANNA COTTA WITH LEMON CURD
For the Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta
- 2 cups double or heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2½ tsp gelatin
- ¼ cup water
- 1½ tbsp dried lavender buds
- 2 tsp lemon zest
For the Lemon Curd:
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 3 tbsp butter (approx. 40g)
- Preparation of the Panna Cotta:
- Heat the milk in a saucepan till it becomes hot.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add dried lavender buds and mix.
- Cover the pan and let the lavender infuse into the milk for 20-30 minutes.
- Add water to a heatproof container. Sprinkle gelatin over it and mix.
- Let it bloom for 10 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp lemon zest to the lavender milk along with cream and sugar.
- Put the pan on medium heat, stir gently.
- Heat till you see small bubbles at the sides of the pan.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Either melt the gelatin in a microwave oven for a few seconds or over hot water.
- Heat water in a pan. Put the container with the gelatin in the hot water.
- Stir the gelatin till it appears clear and syrup like.
- Pour the gelatin into the cream lavender mixture. Mix it well.
- Using a sieve or strainer strain the lavender cream.
- Add the remaining lemon zest for panna cotta (1 tsp) into the lavender cream mixture. Stir well.
- Pour the cream into individual containers.
- If you want to unmold the panna cotta before serving then grease the container (bowls, ramekins) lightly with oil before pouring the cream mixture into it.
- Put the panna cotta in the fridge to set for 4 hours or overnight. I prefer overnight.
Preparation of Lemon Curd:
- Separate the yolks from the white carefully. You don't want the white part in the yolk mixture.
- Add egg yolks, sugar, lemon jucie, lemon zest and butter into a heatproof bowl or container.
- In another pan heat some water over medium heat.
- Put the container with the mixture over the simmering water.
- Keep stirring or whisking the mixture continously using a whisk or fork.
- Keep stirring till it begins to thicken and coats a spoon.
- Pour the lemon curd in a heat proof bowl or container.
- Cover the curd with a cling film, the cling film should touch the surface of the curd so that a skin those not form.
- When it is a bit cool, put it in the fridge till required.
- Lemon Curd stays fresh for about a week in the fridge.
Serving Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Curd:
- Take the set panna cotta out off the fridge.
- Un mold if you want to.
- To each panna cotta add about a tsp of lemon curd. Spread it out gently.
- Serve immediately.
- Store the white part of the eggs in the fridge and use it up to make an omelet.
- Use the remaining lemon curd to top pancakes, add it to your cake batter, make cookies or use it for another dessert.
- Don't add too much lavender other wise it may taste like soap.
- For the perfect consistency of panna cotta, not too hard or too soft, its best to use 2½ tsp or 7g of gelatin to set 2½ cups of liquid.
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