The fig leaf panna cotta makes a delightful treat with its creamy texture and subtle coconut flavor paired with fresh figs and honeycomb.
With the cold weather this past spring, fig season came a bit late in San Diego. My black Mission figs started to ripen last week and what a joy it was to eat them right off the tree. With so many figs in our fridge, I decided to look for fig recipes and came across a fig leaf panna cotta recipe from Amy Newsome’s cookbook Honey: Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen. Completely intrigued by the use of fig leaves, I decided to give it a try. The fig leaf panna cotta turned out creamy and rich with a delightful flavor reminiscent of coconut. It was a huge hit among both adults and kids. To be honest I was blown away by what fig leaves can do and can’t wait to experiment with more fig leaf recipes.
- Fig leaves: fig leaves are edible and used as wraps, teas, syrups, and ice cream. Choose young and tender leaves, and avoid those with brown spots or damage. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor with subtle note of coconut.
- Gelatin sheet: gelatin sheet works similar to granular gelatin found in your local grocery store. I love using gelatin sheet because it produces desserts with purer flavors and there is minimal chance of undissolved granules. Instead of weighing out the powder, you can count the sheets. My favorite brand is PerfectGel with platinum strength. You can find them easily on Amazon. If you can't find the sheet, look for plain, unflavored gelatin, which is usually found among the baking supplies. You can successfully substitute sheet gelatin for powdered gelatin in any recipe by using the following ratio. 1 (0.25 oz.) envelope granulated gelatin = 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin = 3 sheets leaf gelatin. The gelatin needs to be softened prior to cooking in a process called blooming. Bloom the gelatin or soak it in cold water for 5 minutes.
How to Toast Fig Leaves
Wash and wipe the fig leaves clean with a paper towel. Place the fig leaves directly on the oven rack and toast until fragrant, about 8 minutes at 325 degrees F. Keep an eye on them to prevent them from burning.
How to Make Panna Cotta
- Heat milk, cream, and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat.
- Crumble the fig leaves into the pan and let them warm up for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, cover, and let the fig leaves steep for a minimum of 3 hours. Steeping it in the fridge overnight is even better.
- When ready to make the panna cotta, strain the steeped cream over a clean saucepan.
- Soak the gelatin leaves in water to let them bloom or become soft, about 5 minutes.
- Bring the cream mixture to a boil and remove from heat, about 5 minutes.
- Squeeze out the water from the softened gelatin leaves and add them into the hot cream. Whisk until they dissolve. Stir through honey.
- Divide the cream into six molds.
How Long to Let Them Set
Wait for 30 minutes for the fig leaf panna cotta to cool. Cover them with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 8 hours to set. To loosen the panna cotta from their molds, briefly dip the mold in hot water for 15-20 seconds before inverting them on a serving plate.
What to Serve Panna Cotta With
For the fig leaf panna cotta, I kept things simple and served them with fresh figs, honeycomb, and a drizzle of honey to add another layer of texture.
For more panna cotta recipes:
- Orange blossom panna cotta with figs
- Blood orange panna cotta
- Elderflower panna cotta with strawberries
- Buttermilk panna cotta with passion fruit
Fig Leaf Panna Cotta
- 6 panna cotta molds (glass or ceramic cups)
- fine mesh strainer
- 2 ounces fresh fig leaves, washed and dried
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
- 3 gelatin leaves (Perfecta Gel Platinum grade)
- Preheat over to 325 degrees F.
- Place fig leaves on middle rack in oven. Toast for 7-8 minutes until dry and fragrant. Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn.
- In large saucepan heat milk, cream, and sugar over low heat until simmering.
- When the fig leaves are ready, crumble them into pan and keep warm for 5 minutes without simmering.
- Remove pan from heat, cover, and steep for minimum of 3 hours. You can also steep in the fridge overnight for the maximal flavor.
- When ready to make panna cotta, strain cream mixture with fine mesh sieve over clean saucepan. Discard solids.
- Soak gelatin leaves in water for 5 minutes to let them bloom.
- Bring strained cream to a boil over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Squeeze out water from gelatin leaves and add them to cream mixture. Whisk until dissolved. Stir through honey.
- Pour cream mixture into molds. Let them cool for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer molds to fridge and let panna cotta set for 8 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, dip the mold in hot water for 20 seconds. Invert panna cotta on serving plate. Serve with fresh figs, honeycomb, and a drizzle of honey.