My orange blossom panna cotta is rich and creamy with a delicate sweetness. It makes a delightful dessert with in season figs and honeycomb.
Panna cotta is hands down one of my favorite desserts. This delightful Italian delicacy requires a minimal amount of work and makes a delicious treat. Although Italian in origin, I love playing with flavor and made this easy orange blossom panna cotta to pair with all the fresh figs we harvested from our garden. It’s rich and creamy with a delicate sweetness.
What’s a panna cotta
Panna cotta, or cooked cream, is a popular Italian pudding. It’s made with dairy and thickened with gelatin. It is easy to make and needs at least 8 hours to set. The result is a silky, custard-like dessert that pairs well with fresh fruit, fruit compote, or even just a spoonful of jam.
Orange blossom water: orange blossom water is one of those special ingredients that I enjoy cooking with. It’s basically water flavored with orange blossoms and traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking. You’ll find it well stocked in Middle Eastern grocery stores. I love orange blossom water and used 1.5 tablespoons in this recipe but feel free to decrease it to 1 tablespoon if you’re using it for the first time.
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.
Honeycomb: honeycomb is nature’s wonderful delicacy and lends a chewy texture to the creamy panna cotta. If you can’t find honeycomb, just a drizzle of honey will just be as delicious.
What to serve with panna cotta
This orange blossom panna cotta is delicious eaten straight out of a cup (my kids prefer this) but it’s even better to serve it unmolded on a plate with seasonal fruits or a fruit compote. I love serving my orange blossom panna cotta with seasonal figs, honeycomb, and pistachios to add another dimension of flavor and texture.
This orange blossom panna cotta with figs and honeycomb might just be my favorite one yet. It’s rich and creamy but firm enough to set. Dig a spoon into it and you’ll get a bite of luscious, melt in your mouth panna cotta flavored with intoxicating orange blossom. The figs, honeycomb, and pistachios are the supporting casts that add textural contrast and transform it from a simple pudding to a showstopping dessert!
For more panna cotta inspiration, check these recipes: orange blossom panna cotta with baked rhubarb, blood orange panna cotta, elderflower panna cotta, buttermilk panna cotta with passion fruit pulp.
Orange blossom panna cotta with figs and honeycomb
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 gelatin sheets
- 1 1/2 tbsps orange blossom water
- 1 pint fresh figs, halved or quartered
- 1/4 cup honeycomb
- 2 tbsps toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- In a saucepan pour cream, milk, and sugar and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the mixture starts to simmer at the edges. Remove from heat.
- While the mixture is cooking, put the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water and leave for 5 minutes to soften or "bloom."
- Once the gelatin is softened, squeeze out the excess water and whisk the gelatin into the cream mixture until completely dissolved.
- Whisk in the orange blossom water.
- Divide the mixture equally into 6 molds and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to set for at least 8 hours.
- When you're ready to serve, dip each mold into a bowl of hot water for about 5 seconds then turn them onto a plate.
- Garnish the panna cotta with fresh figs, honeycomb, and chopped pistachios.