Recipe: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée

Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert of silky, sweetened cream set with gelatin, is all at once simple, classic and elegant.  It is, at its best, subtle, not overly sweet, and the perfect way to end a meal on a light and refreshing note.
Panna cotta comes together quickly and can be molded in any type of vessels you choose -- from ramekins to demitasse, martini glasses to mason jars.  I like to compliment my panna cotta with a thin layer of gelée -- a gelatin stabilized glaze made from fresh fruit.  Apricots are in season right now, and are bursting with summer sweetness, so I chose to do an apricot gelée.  You can use my recipe with any type of fruit you'd like.  
Here are some photos of panna cottas I've made in the past with a variety of gelées and vessels:
Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Honey Gelée and Bee Pollen
Lemon Panna Cotta, no gelée
Meyer-Lemon Panna Cotta, Strawberry-Rhubarb Gelee

I like to decorate my desserts with edible flowers, especially in summer and springtime. My theme fo…

The Perfect Margarita

Perhaps you already have a favorite Margarita recipe, but if not, allow me to introduce you to my all-time favorite.

Bright with fresh citrus, balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and tang, this Margarita offers a taste of summertime any time of year.

The Perfect Margarita

1.5 ounces of your favorite tequila
4.5 ounces of your favorite Margarita mix (mine is Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy's)
1/2 ounce Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
a handful of ice
Juice of 1 whole lime
Juice of 1 whole lemon
Juice of 1 whole orange

Place ingredients into a cocktail shaker or blender.  Shake vigorously for 10 seconds or blend until smooth.  Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and enjoy!

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