Now that local strawberries are readily available - I’ve shared this delicate Italian set cream dessert with a scattering of new season’s summer strawberries in syrup and crunchy topping - a dinner party sensation!
Elderflower Panna Cotta with Strawberries & Brown Butter Crumble
For the panna cotta
- 3 gelatine leave
- 450ml double cream
- 200ml whole milk
- 100g white caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- For the crumble
- 75g butter
- plus extra for greasing
- 75g plain flour
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 25g ground almonds
- For the strawberries
- 400g punnet local strawberry’s now in season, hulled and halved, or quartered if very large
- 1½ tsp cornflour
- 50g white caster sugar
For the garnish
Chopped pistachios optional instead of crumble scattered on top and handpicked wild elder flower clusters.
- For the panna cotta, put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water to soften – this will take about 5 mins. Meanwhile, pour the cream, milk and sugar into a pan, split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add, along with the pod, to the cream mixture. Heat gently until hot, but not bubbling. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid then add, one at a time, to the hot cream. Stir until dissolved. Leave to stand for 20-30 mins until cooled – the vanilla pods should be suspended in the liquid by this point. Strain the mixture through a sieve into 6 serving moulds, then chill for at least 4 hrs.
- Meanwhile, for the crumble, tip the butter into a small pan and heat gently until it has turned a deep brown and smells nutty. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rub the browned butter into the flour, then stir through the sugar and almonds. Spread out onto a tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden, stirring a few times. Leave to cool.
- Toss the strawberries with the cornflour and sugar in a saucepan. Place over a medium heat and cook for 3-4 mins, until the released juices thicken and the strawberries soften.do not overcook or the strawberries will break up. Set aside to cool.
- Once completely cooled, top the set panna cottas with the strawberry mixture. Chill until ready to serve. Recipe can be made with rhubarb as well using 100g of caster sugar as the rhubarb can be quiet tarty.
- Garnish with a scattering of brown butter crumble and handpicked elder flower sprigs.