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Mary's Lavender Panna Cotta
From Simple Stunning Parties at Home, by Karen Bussen

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
1-1/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
1-1/2 cups sugar
Two 1/2-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.

Yield: Serves 8

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