Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Orange Sauce
Whether you are taking Mom out for lunch or dinner this weekend, it is still nice to be able to prepare a little something for a more intimate time at home. A leisurely breakfast or afternoon tea is a wonderful way for the family to get together to honor and appreciate Mom. These small meals need not be elaborate and some can be prepared ahead. Remember to make it as stress free as possible and to enjoy the time spent together.
Simple breakfast ideas, from left to right: Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups, Gluten-Free Banana Blueberry Muffins, and Grilled Marmite Cheese Sandwiches.
A dessert is always welcomed. Panna cotta is light and elegant. Best of all, it begs to be made ahead. The orange sauce that accompanies this fragrant, creamy goodness is simply delightful. It has a slightly tangy flavor and the color is bright and cheerful, perfect for Mother’s Day. For a touch of the tropics, try my Lemongrass Panna Cotta with Kiwi Mint Sauce instead.
Orange blossom water is distilled water that contains the essential oil of orange blossom. It is a traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern, French, and Mediterranean desserts. It is also used in some cocktails. A little goes a long way, and so add a few drops at a time to determine your preference. It can be purchased at Middle Eastern food stores.
Making panna cotta is relatively simple but unmolding it can be a little tricky. While my first attempt using small bowls was quite successful, it did cause me some concern. I decided to use silicone cups this time, and I am happy to say that the release was a little easier. After running a thin knife around the top edge, I was able to stretch and peel back the pliable silicone cup to loosen the panna cotta. I inverted it onto a plate and gently squeeze the base of the cup to ease the panna cotta down. Then I carefully lifted the cup.
Silicone cups come in all shapes and sizes. Choose the ones that best suit your purpose.
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1½ (360ml) cups half-and-half
- 2 tsp orange blossom water
- 2½ tsp (7g) unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup (75g) sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed orange juice from 2 to 3 oranges
- 3 tbsp (40g) sugar
- 1 tbsp (14g) butter
- Julienne orange peel from one orange
Lightly oil 10 standard size silicone baking cups with neutral tasting oil. Place cups on a flat tray.
Place half-and-half in a medium sized saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Add sugar and place saucepan on the stove over medium stirring until gelatin and sugar dissolve, about 5 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil. Pour in whipping cream and orange blossom water. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.
Strain mixture over a fine sieve to remove any undissolved gelatin. Pour into silicone cups. Transfer to fridge and allow to set for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Place orange juice, sugar, butter, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thick and syrupy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Transfer to a container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Run a thin knife around edge of each silicone cup to loosen. Invert onto a plate and gently squeeze the base of the cup to ease the panna cotta down. Carefully lift the cup. Drizzle with orange sauce.
A double heart serving of Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Orange Sauce for Mom…
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!