Here is a light and refreshing dessert or if I was doing a multi course menu could easily be a pre-dessert course.  This recipe has very floral and citrus flavors, which is light and refreshing to the palate.  I found both lemon verbena and chamomile at the farmers market and thought to get some and incorporate it into a dish.  I absolutely love lemon verbena and the flavor of citrus that it brings to whatever you infuse it into.  Chamomile has a great flavor that isn't over powering and of course we know it best in tea.  Here I made the panna cotta with verbena and made a blueberry and chamomile sauce to go with it.  I add a verjus and honey sauce along with a bitter almond crumble to round the dish out.  Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it.

Lemon verbena panna cotta

1 1/2 cup verbena leaves
2 cup 1/2 and 1/2
2 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp of gelatin powder (beef I use) and 6 tbsp of water

1 vanilla bean

Bitter almond candied
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp water
6oz bitter almonds
1/4 cinnamon
Nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Blueberry camomile pudding
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint blueberries
1 1/2 tsp agar
1 bunch camomile steeped

1/2 cup Verjus and 1/3 cup of honey mixed

Blueberries, micro basil, and basil flowers for garnish

For the panna cotta,

Add cream, half and half, split vanilla bean, sugar and verbena to a medium size pot.  Bring to a boil slowly with out scorching, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile mix water and gelatin together.  Once the mixture has come to a boil turn off and let it steep for a few minutes.  Then take a few ladles of cream mixture and stir into the gelatin to melt.  Add the gelatin mixture back into the rest of the cream mixture and stir well.  Then strain out the mixture into separate molds or into any specific mold you want to serve the panna cotta.  You can also pour on to a sheet pan and cut the pana cotta (which is what I did).  Once in the mold place in the refrigerator to cool and set completely (3 hours or more).

For the blueberry chamomile pudding,

Place blueberries, water, sugar in a pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Add agar to the pot and stir cooking for about 5 minutes.  Then add the chamomile to the sauce and keep on low for about 3 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and let it steep another 3-5 minutes.  Then strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a baking dish.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes until set and cold.  Then roughly cut the sauce with a knife and place it all into the blender.  Blend smooth for about 30 seconds and place into a large squirt bottle.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375

For the bitter almond

Place water, powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.  Mix well with a whisk.  Then fold in your bitter almonds.  Place on a sheet pan line with a silpat.  Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes.  Stirring the nuts every 5 minuteswith a wooden spoon so the roast evenly.  Then take out and cool.

For the verjus honey glaze,

simply mix verjus and honey in a bowl and set aside.

To plate cut or take the panna cotta out of the mold you have chosen. Place a big dollop of blueberry pudding on the plate and smear with a pastry spatula.  Then add your pana cotta.  Crush up the bitter almonds and place next to the panna cotta on both sides.  Add your basil leaves, blueberries and flowers.  Drizzle the verjus honey glaze around the dish.  Serve and enjoy!



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