Panna cotta infused with aromatic wild fruit cider.
Keyword: wild fruit
4ozfresh fruitespecially berries and grapes (see note)
2sheets gelatin or 2 teaspoons gelatin powder
90grams1/3 cup maple syrup
Tiny pinch salt
1cupwater or apple cider
Aromatics (see note)
1inchpiece of cinnamon
1inchpiece of wild ginger or ½ inch piece of cultivated ginger
6dried cow parsnip seeds
1inchpiece each orange zest
3-4dried sweet gale fruit or sweetfern nutlets
A few spoons of maple syrup
Fresh lemon juice
Small handful of fresh berries per personI used blackberries and currants
Signet marigold flowers optional
In the pan you will simmer the berries, bring the maple syrup to a simmer and cook until reduced by half.
Crush the spices roughly in a mortar and pestle. Add the berries, spices and water to the pan with the maple syrup and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, mashing the fruit up occasionally with the back of a spoon.
Add the gelatin and mix until dissolved (if you use powdered gelatin, add it to the berry juice after you strain it while still warm, then puree with the cream).
Allow the mixture to cool naturally, then strain, pressing down to extract as much juice as possible. Measure the liquid you extract from the fruit, then reduce to exactly 8 oz (1 cup).
Mix the cream and tepid fruit cider, then blend with an immersion blender or equivalent.
Pour the mixture into custard dishes or ramekins and refrigerate, covered, until set, preferably overnight. Run a knife around the edge of the panna cottas to unmold them, sometimes I have to lever them a bit with an offset spatula to get air into the mold if they don’t want to release right away.
Before serving, toss the berries with some maple syrup and lemon juice to taste, just enough to make a thin sauce while it macerates for, say, 30 minutes before you serve. Spoon the berries and a drizzle of juice over each panna cotta after you've unmolded them, garnish with a marigold flower, if using, and serve.
The fun part is that you can infuse this with whatever you like, and you can make it as simple or complex as you like. Only have cinnamon? No prob. want to use a bunch of things like I do here? Just make sure not to go too crazy, but, the recipe mechanics are designed to help you be creative, without too much chance of you making something you'll want to throw away, which can happen with freestyling. If you only pick one wild aromatic to add, consider wild ginger or cow parsnip seed.