A quick one as I'm off to the lake district tomorrow for a girly weekend with friends from Dundee! I'm looking forward to it very much as there will be lots of chatting, walking, relaxing and nice food. But I'll blog about that next time. The post now is one I promised to my brother who was visiting last week with his girlfriend. It was so nice to see both of them (last time was in March) and spend some quality time both in Basel and the Alps. Tuesday night was their last evening in Basel and so we cooked the first fondue of the season. For dessert I wanted to make something special and decided to open one of the jars of poppy jelly I made in July.
I was intrigued from the first moment I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it. So I set out one afternoon, gathered way too many leaves and spent hours cleaning all the pollen off (it pays off to be a bit more careful in the picking, then you'll have a lot less work). I made three jars of beautiful red jelly that then disappeared into the cupboard and came out again last Tuesday night. The taste of the jelly was strange but nice, not very strong but also not like anything I'd ever tasted. I decided to pair it with a panna cotta and to prevent it from all being too jelly-like (and stick with the theme) I added poppy seeds which collected at the bottom (=top after inversion) of the mold. They formed a nice contrast both in colour and in texture to the creamy panna cotta. I just thinned out the jelly (2 tbsp with one tbsp water) by heating it and drizzled some over/around the pudding.
Poppy Panna Cotta (serves 4)
200ml Double cream*
200ml Single cream*
1/2 vanilla pod
2 tbsp poppy seeds
level 1/2 tsp agar-agar**
Mix cream, sugar, poppy seeds and agar-agar in a pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the cream and throw the pod in. Gently bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 min. Leave to cool slightly, then pour into individual molds. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
* This was just what was in the fridge but you could use double cream and milk or all single cream or whatever you feel like.
** I find it easier to just have this at home for when vegetarian friends come for dinner, you could also use gelatine in which case you need 1 1/2 sheets.