11 September 2012

Spicy Peach Pit Panna Cotta

You may be wondering what on earth I am doing putting peach pits in food, but after reading Bravetart's post on the uses of peach pits (and any other fruit stone) I promise that you will be as convinced as I was that it is a good idea, and not at all poisonous, as some people might believe.

The idea is that the stones are added to a liquid that you might use in baking, e.g. milk or cream, and steeped for 24 hours before straining them, leaving only their flavour behind in the liquid. You can then roast the stones in the oven for 30 minutes, crack them open to reveal the noyaux (nut-type kernels) inside, then roast the noyaux for a further 15 minutes before using them as you would use any roasted nut. This waste-not-want-not approach appeals to both my inquisitive baking side and also my thrifty student side. Perfect!

best of british London

I made this Panna Cotta not only to try out this interesting peach pit concept, but also as my entry to this month's Best Of British Challenge: London. Best Of British is sponsored by New World Appliances, fronted by this month's host, Fiona Maclean of The Face Of New World Appliances and London Unattached. I have spent very little time in London (something that must be rectified), but my idea of London is a whirl of foreign flavours, combined with influence from my first ever meal in the city: I was seven, and we went to Pizza Express (another first for me). It's all a bit of a blur, but I think it started my love of Italian food so I thought it would be appropriate to give my London entry an Italian theme whilst tying in my foreign flavour concept to make this Spicy Peach Pit Panna Cotta.

I'm also entering this Panna Cotta into this month's Alphabakes, hosted by Caroline of Caroline Makes... (alternately hosted by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker). I've never entered before, but this month's letter is 'P', so it seems appropriate that I do! I seem to have picked the right month to enter as there's a giveaway for some chocolates, too - right up my street.

The recipe was based on a Vanilla Panna Cotta Recipe from BBC Food. The Spicy Peach Pit Panna Cotta was delicious and rich; it tasted of peaches, but also had a nutty aftertaste. The cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper really complemented the flavour imparted by the peach stones. I would have liked to use cardamom, but I didn't have any to hand; if you've got any in your kitchen then you should try it! The Panna Cotta was delicious served with crumbled meringues, as pictured.

If you're planning to make this recipe, remember to leave 24 hours, for the peach stones to steep in the cream, plus enough time for the gelatine to set.

Makes 4
  • 300mL Double Cream
  • 10 Peach/Nectarine Stones
  • 3 Leaves/1 Sachet Gelatine
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Pinch Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • Put the peach/nectarine stones in a medium saucepan with the everything but the gelatine, and bring to a simmer.
  • Remove from the heat and cover with cling film to prevent the formation of a skin. Allow to cool completely before putting in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • Prepare the gelatine as per the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Remove the cream mixture from the fridge and dispose of the clingfilm. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and strain into a bowl using a sieve to catch the peach stones.
  • Stir in the gelatine until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to four ramekins and allow to cool before placing in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until set.
I'm off to Liverpool tomorrow for a couple of days, and will no doubt bake something for my grandparents while I'm there. I've actually been given a cake order from a family friend to make while I'm there as well, so that will be exciting! Ex housemate, N, is back up in the North this weekend so I'll be excited to see him, too. The busy schedule is hence not letting up, but I'll still make sure I bring you the recipes for whatever I end up making!

[The photographs and contents of this post were updated on 05/07/2015]


  1. I'd never have thought of this - great use of the whole fruit and looks delicious too. Thanks for entering it to AlphaBakes!

  2. This looks scrumptious, I didn't know you could use peach pits in cooking! Welcome to Alphabakes!

  3. I love panna cotta. I'm really intrigued by the use of the fruit stones too as for some reason I'd always thought they were poisonous.

    1. Yeah apparently that's a common misconception. I think the nut inside can be bad for you if you don't cook it right and try to eat it, but it sounds like if you do it well it's pretty good! The panna cotta was, anyway.

  4. Love the peach pit info. Will have to store this away for later!


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