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!
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 and 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. I didn't quite have as many peach pits as advised by Bravetart (1 for every 28mL liquid), so the taste was much milder and harder to detect than it should have been. Despite this, the Panna Cotta was deliciously light, and the spices didn't overwhelm the flavour. The nutmeg collected at the bases of the wine glasses, but this gives an attractive layering effect. I think if I were to make this again I would steep the spices as well as the peach pits (and make sure I had enough of them!), so as to give a more uniform flavour throughout.
If you're planning to make this recipe, remember to leave 24 hours for the peach stones to steep in the cream and enough time for the gelatine to set.
- 250mL Double Cream
- 250mL Milk
- 18 Peach/Nectarine Stones
- 3 Leaves/1 Sachet Gelatine
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Nutmeg
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 25g Caster Sugar
- Put the peach/nectarine stones in a medium saucepan with the milk and cream, 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.
- Remove the cream mixture from the fridge and dispose of the clingfilm. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and strain into another pan using a sieve to catch the peach stones.
- Put the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water to soften it, as per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Add the spices and sugar to the cream mixture, followed by the gelatine, and stir over a low heat until the gelatine has fully dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to four ramekins or wine glasses 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!