27 August 2010

Panna Cotta With Apple Compote

I went to Waitrose the other day and picked up yet another recipe card, I just can't resist those. This one was Delia's Vanilla cream terrine and is basically a panna cotta, but with yoghurt instead of milk.


Though instead of berries, I made a Bulgarian apple compote.

Panna Cotta
7 g leaf gelatine
425 ml double cream
75 g caster sugar
425 g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla extract

Apple Compote
850 g apples
7.5 dl water
1 lemon
2.5 dl caster sugar
2.5 dl apple brandy or white wine
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cloves


  1. Make the panna cotta first, as it needs a few hours to set. Place the gelatine in a little cold water for 5 - 10 minutes to soften up.

  2. Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and heat up on low just enough to dissolve the sugar.

  3. Squeeze out the gelatine and stir into the cream until it dissolves, then remove from the heat.

  4. Mix the yoghurt and the vanilla in a bowl, then pour in the cream and stir through well.

  5. Pour into moulds or a loaf tin and allow to cool, then put in the fridge for a few hours to set.

  6. Peel and core the apples, then dice finely and place in a bowl. Note that the amount of apples is after peeling and coring.

  7. Put the water in a saucepan with a couple of strips of the lemon peel and all of its juice, then bring to the boil.

  8. Once it's boiled, pour over the apples and let stand for 5 minutes, then strain the liquid back into the saucepan.

  9. Add the sugar, brandy, cinnamon and cloves to the liquid and bring to the boil once more to dissolve the sugar.

  10. Transfer the apples to glass jars, then distribute the liquid so that all the apples are covered. They will float up to the surface though. Put lids on the jars and allow the compote to cool, then store in the fridge.

Actually I had to make yoghurt first, since I was almost out, and I did that last night, since it needs about 12 h to form. My yoghurt is a bit sweeter than the yoghurts available in the shops, I'm not sure why, perhaps the yoghurt bacteria has changed over a few generations.

The panna cotta turned out very nicely indeed. I was going to use a loaf pan originally, but then I spotted my brioche moulds in the cupboard and decided to use them instead. Just after I put the panna cotta in the fridge, I got some doubts about not using enough gelatine and indeed, according to the packet, I should have used more. It was a bit tricky to get the panna cotta out of the moulds and it just about held its shape, but Lundulph thought the texture was very good and said I shouldn't put more gelatine in.

The compote isn't a traditional one, since the apples aren't actually cooked. I used the remainder of the apples I got from my neighbours last week and being cooking apples, they were quite tart, even with the sugary syrup, but the panna cotta took the edge right off them.

The only thing I would have liked in addition is a bit of a crunch in something like a brandy snap or such. Lundulph thought some sort of créme brûlée crunch would be in order. I'm not sure about that, but will have to try it out.

The second time round, we had the panna cotta with the remaining caramelised figs and that was really nice too, plus they had their own built-in crunch. And what I found interesting was that in the first serving, the panna cotta was the sweeter part of the dessert, offsetting the sourness of the apples, while in the second, it was the neutraliser to the strong sweetness of the figs. I see a lot of possibilities with it.

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