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mary’s lavender panna cotta

Serves 8

My colleague and friend Chef Mary Cleaver is at the forefront of the movement toward improving our food supply as a nation. She has taught me to strive to include as many organic, local, and seasonal ingredients as possible in my own cooking, and so I wanted to share one of her sweet recipes with you for a lovely summer dessert.

  • 5 cups heavy cream
  • 11⁄ 3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • Two ½-ounce packets powdered gelatin
  • Honey, for garnish

Combine the cream, 1 cup of the milk, and the lavender in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Strain out the lavender.

While the cream mixture is cooling slightly, pour the remaining ¹⁄³ cup cold milk into a small bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir the dissolved gelatin into the very warm cream mixture. (If it has become too cool to dissolve the gelatin, set it back on a low flame, stirring continuously, until the gelatin is completely incorporated into the cream.)

Pour the mixture into individual serving vessels or a single dish. Let sit for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator, undisturbed, on a flat surface. Drizzle the panna cotta lightly with a few drops of honey before serving.

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