On the menu

Recipe: Saffron panna cotta pots and poached pears

A marriage of Bettina Campolucci Bordi’s favourite spice with her favourite dessert

Saffron is one of my favourite spices and panna cotta is one of my all-time favourite desserts, says Bettina Campolucci Bordi. So why not marry those two together? The poached pear cuts through the creaminess and adds an additional layer of colour.

Ingredients: makes 6 small or 4 large servings 

For the poached pears

  • 2 pears, peeled 
  • poaching liquid (either water or white wine) 
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 5 tbsp caster sugar 
  • ½ a beetroot, peeled and diced, or 1 tbsp beetroot powder 

For the panna cotta

  • 1 litre coconut milk 
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, and the seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract 
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup 
  • pinch of saffron 
  • 2 tbsp agar agar
Method 
  • Put the pears in a small saucepan and just cover with poaching liquid. Add the lemon juice, sugar and diced beetroot (the beetroot is purely to give the pears a lovely pink colour once they are cooked).
  • Simmer for 30 minutes and allow to cool. Quarter the pears lengthways and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. You could leave them in the poaching liquid overnight.
  • To make the panna cotta, pour the coconut milk into a pan and heat gently. Add the vanilla, maple syrup and saffron. Then sprinkle the agar agar on top of the liquid and heat through without stirring. Get it to a simmer, and whisking, let the agar agar dissolve fully.
  • Once the mixture has come to a boil, remove from the heat. Pour the panna cotta mixture into serving glasses and set aside to cool. Once cooled, place in the fridge to set for a few hours.
  • Just before serving, place the poached pears on top of each panna cotta and sprinkle with toasted nuts such as almonds and walnuts. Or you can use edible flowers: some possible options are cornflowers, nasturtiums and violets.
  • Cook’s tip: make this delicious dessert in the morning or even the day before, so it’s ready to serve in the evening.
Celebrate: Plant-Based Recipes for Every Occasion by Bettina Campolucci Bordi

Taken from Celebrate: Plant-Based Recipes for Every Occasion by Bettina Campolucci Bordi, published by Hardie Grant at £20. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £15.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk

Recommended

Dakota Manchester: a stylish stay in a city on the up
The bar and grill at Dakota Manchester hotel
In Review

Dakota Manchester: a stylish stay in a city on the up

COMO Castello del Nero hotel review: a true taste of Tuscany
Hotel swimming pool
In Review

COMO Castello del Nero hotel review: a true taste of Tuscany

Trip of the week: at home on a ranch in Costa Rica
Hacienda Montezuma
The big trip

Trip of the week: at home on a ranch in Costa Rica

Recipe of the week: sweet scones
Scones with strawberries
On the menu

Recipe of the week: sweet scones

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

The Week Footer Banner