Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Moscato Apricots

[Photograph: Sara Remington]

Moscato wine has a lovely hint of apricot flavor, making this pairing pure stone fruit genius.

Reprinted with permission from Plum Gorgeous by Romney Steele. Copyright © 2011. Published by Andrews McMeel. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Moscato Apricots

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About This Recipe

Yield:4 to 6
Active time:1 hour
Total time:1 hour plus chilling time
This recipe appears in: Bake the Book: Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Moscato Apricots


  • Apricots in Syrup
  • 2 pounds apricots, halved (4 pits reserved) 
  • 1 cup Moscato wine 
  • 1 cup water 
  • Scant 1 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower honey or other light honey 
  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked 1 vanilla bean, split 
  • 2 (1-inch) strips lemon peel 
  • Panna Cotta
  • 1 2⁄3 cups heavy cream 

  • 1⁄4 cup vanilla sugar 
  • 1 (1⁄2-inch) strip orange peel 

  • Pinch saffron, crumbled 
  • Dash salt 

  • 1 1⁄3 cups buttermilk 

  • Scant 1 1⁄2 teaspoons granulated gelatin 
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower honey 
  • 2 teaspoons orange flower water 
  • Handful pistachios or almonds, lightly toasted and chopped, for garnish 


  1. 1

    To prepare the apricots, crack open the pits, using a hammer or back of a heavy frying pan to get at the kernels. Soak the kernels in water for 15 minutes. In a saucepot, bring the wine, water, sugar, honey, and cardamom to a boil. Scrape in the vanilla seeds, and drop in the pod and the kernels. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the apricots and poach for 2 minutes, until they just begin to soften.

  2. 2

    Transfer the apricots with a slotted spoon to a glass bowl. Bring the wine syrup back to a boil and simmer rapidly until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes more. Pour the hot syrup and spices over the apricots. Chill thoroughly before serving.

  3. 3

    To make the panna cotta, heat the cream, sugar, orange peel, saffron, and salt in a small saucepan to just under a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 30 minutes. 

  4. 4

    Place the cold buttermilk in a bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin, swirling a few times until dissolved. Rewarm the custard and stir in the buttermilk mixture and the honey. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Strain the custard into a bowl set over ice. Whisk a few times, until cool. Stir in the orange flower water.

  5. 5

    Transfer the custard to a measuring cup and divide evenly among 4 to 6 molds—teacups work well—or other shallow ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set.

  6. 6

    To unmold, wrap a warm towel around the bottom of each cup or ramekin for 30 seconds or so, then slide the tip of a thin knife around the edges of the custard to loosen from inside the bowl. Turn over onto chilled plates.

  7. 7

    Spoon 2 to 3 poached apricot halves around the custards, drizzling each with some syrup. Dust a bit of chopped pistachio over the top of each.


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