Yossy Arefi’s Sweeter off the Vine focuses on seasonal fruits and how to incorporate them into desserts.
With white petals surrounding their yellow centers, chamomile flowers look a lot like little daisies. In these sweet, milky custards, chamomile and honey are a natural pair—both of them floral and sweet. Top each panna cotta with coarsely chopped pistachios and a sprinkle of bee pollen for a vibrant and elegant dessert.
- Lightly grease six 6-ounce ramekins with a paper towel dipped in a bit of canola or grapeseed oil. Heat the cream in a saucepan set over medium heat until just barely simmering. Add the chamomile flowers (or tea bags), turn off the heat, and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and reserve.
- Pour the milk into a clean saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top, but do not stir. Let the gelatin soften until the grains look wet and like they are beginning to dissolve, about 5 minutes. After the gelatin has bloomed, warm the milk and gelatin over very low heat, whisking occasionally, until the gelatin dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture bubble or simmer, which will inhibit the gelatin’s ability to set.
- Whisk in the honey, vanilla, and salt. Add the chamomile infused cream and whisk to combine. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins and chill them in the refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight. If you are going to leave them overnight, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap.
- To unmold the panna cottas, run a thin knife around the top edge of each ramekin to release the sides, and invert it onto a plate; you may have to shake the ramekin gently to get the panna cotta to release onto the plate. Top each panna cotta with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and a dusting of bee pollen. Alternatively, serve the panna cottas in their ramekins with the garnishes.
Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.