This recipe was a bit of fun to make, plate and photograph. The tartness of the yoghurt in the pannacotta brings out the lavender flavour.
Quantities for the pannacotta are from a yoghurt pannacotta in Bill Granger’s Best of Bill. I have added lavender to the recipe, as well as the granita and berries. Cass had the idea to make the granita – we had 3 cordials from Ikea – rhubarb, elderflower and lingonberry. His original thinking was a lingonberry granita as it has a beautiful, deep crimson colour, but it was way too sweet. We agreed elderflower would suit the best. However, rhubarb would also work for a change.
Will need to make the granita and pannacotta the day before. The recipe also works without the granita.
Quantities will make 4 x ½ cup moulds. I use green tea cups as moulds for the pannacotta.
Elderflower cordial granita:
1 cup of water
¼ cup Elderflower cordial
Yoghurt and lavender pannacotta:
190 ml cream
60 g caster sugar
½ a vanilla bean. Split lengthways.
2 lavender heads
2.5 gelatine leaves (this quantity is from McKenzie’s ratio (12 leaves:1L))
250g natural yoghurt
Making the granita:
Use a jug to mix the water and cordial. Pour into a rectangular glass dish and freeze overnight.
Making the pannacotta:
Place 190 ml cream and 60g sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
Cut one whole vanilla bean in 2 (straight across the middle). Take one half and using the point of the knife, split lengthways. Using the back of your knife, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and into the saucepan. Add the ½ vanilla bean pod too.
Add the 2 lavender heads.
Organise your gelatine leaves (2.5 if using McKenzie’s 12:1L). McKenzie’s brand needs to sit in cold water for 5-7 minutes before being added to hot liquid. Whatever brand you use – prepare for adding to a hot liquid.
Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Discard the vanilla bean and take out the lavender heads. As you take out, press the heads lightly against the pan with your wooden spoon or spatula to squeeze them out. Keep the lavender heads for later.
When they are ready, add the gelatine leaves one at a time. I whisked the leaves in one at a time over the lowest heat setting (I have an induction stove top, if you are on gas, you make have to take the pot on and off so that the cream mix doesn’t get too hot and split).
Add the 250 g yoghurt one third at a time, whisking in as you add.
Place the lavender heads back in. Leave for 8-10 minutes. This results in a subtle lavender flavour, you don’t want it too strong or it will overpower and you will taste too much of the plant matter as well as the lavender.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into an easy-to-pour-from jug. Use this to then divide the mixture between 4 125 ml (½ cup moulds).
Cover with plastic film, wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
I put my plate in the freezer before plating. This was because of the possibility of the granita melting before I took the photo. But there is no harm doing this before you serve. It only needs about 10 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, organise a pot of warm water (from the tap) for releasing the pannacotta from their moulds. Working at a time, put the mould in upright. Leave for 30-45 seconds. Take out and use a butter knife to carefully loosen the edges of the pannacotta from the mould. Place your serving plate on top of the pannacotta about where you want it to sit and turn over.
Use a spoon to scrape the granita and place as much as you want on the plate.
Place sliced strawberries and whole blueberries to the side.