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…

Thanksgiving Craft: Felt Pumpkin Pie Place Cards
{" heart-FELT Holidays" Book Review & Giveaway}

I love crafting with felt!
It can evoke nostalgia,
exude charm
and be so forgiving.

Today I'm sharing an easy and delightful
project for your Thanksgiving table:
Plush Pumpkin Pie Place Cards

If you can sew a basic whip stitch,
you have all the sewing skills
necessary to bake make them.

This project came directly from the pages of heart-FELT Holidays: 40 Festive Felt Projects to Celebrate all Seasons, from Lark Crafts (by Kathy Sheldon & Amanda Carestio).  I have several new Lark titles to share with you this month -- all of which make excellent holiday gifts.  But this one, well, you're going to want to get this one now...for yourself! 

If you love to craft and make handmade gifts, heart-FELT Holidays is a must-have for your DIY library.  You don't have to be an experienced seamstress to complete these beautifully designed and straightforward projects (that use plain old manufactured felt from the craft store).  The book is packed with inspiration for holidays throughout the year.  The projects are easy to follow, with step-by-step instructions and free templates.  There are even several no-sew projects that you can whip up in a jiff!  

Here are a few of my favorites:

Clockwise from top middle: No-Sew Wine Bags, Blooming Valentines, Happy Hanukkah Mice, April Showers Wall Art, and Cupcake Picks.

Here's a little "taste" of the crafty-goodness inside of heart-FELT Holidays to get you hooked:

 Plush Pumpkin Pie Place Cards
Designed by: Aimee Ray
Pages 80-81, heart-FELT Holidays, Lark Crafts

  • Template (download HERE)
  • Tissue Paper (enough to cover the two side pieces)
  • Sewing Needle
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Small straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Pumpkin orange, tan and cream felt (9x12 inches each)
  • Brown embroidery floss
  • White, orange and tan thread
  • Stuffing

Step 1:  Using the templates, cut two side pieces and one top piece from the pumpkin orange felt.  Cut one bottom piece and one crust piece from the tan felt.  Cut one whipped cream piece from the cream felt.

Step 2:  Embroider* the swirl designs on each side of the piece, first trace the embroidery pattern onto two pieces of tissue paper (I repurposed the edges of an old sewing pattern).  Then pin the tissue paper securely to the felt side pieces.  Embroider the designs through both the tissue paper and the felt, using the brown floss.  When finished, tear away the tissue paper.  You may need to use a needle or tweezers to remove the remaining little bits of paper.  

Step 3:  To make the whipped cream, use the white thread to make a stitch in each top corner and then gather the thread together.  Pull the thread down through the center of the circle and tie a knot underneath.  Stitch this piece onto the top pie piece.  

Step 4:  Pin the top, sides, and bottom pie pieces together using a whipstitch and orange thread.  Sew pieces together to form the wedge of pie.  Stuff the pie firmly, but not enough so the sides bulge.  Stitch on the back crust piece using a whhipstitch and the tan thread.  

Step 5:  Print a place card and set in place between the crust and whipped cream.

*Embroidery is optional. You can leave the sides of the pie plain, or give it some personality! I can never pass up an opportunity to be silly:


Craft-o-philes, you need this book! So I must insist that you enter to win a copy from Lark Crafts.  The Rafflecopter widget below makes it easy.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait?  At $10.10, why not grab a copy?  Here ya go...enjoy!

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