An alfresco lunch isn’t complete without a sweet dessert and this light and creamy panna cotta tart fits the bill. Elevated with pink grapefruit, this panna cotta recipe perfectly balances taste and texture for a refreshing lunchtime bite. Draw inspiration from nature and arrange blooms picked straight from the garden for a centrepiece with meaning and pretty garnishes to match the occasion.
To make pastry, put ground almonds, flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and water, and process until mixture begins to form a ball. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
Roll pastry out on a floured surface to form a 35cm circle. Line a 26cm x 3cm quiche tin with removable base with pastry. Trim edges. Using your index finger, push pastry into fluted sides so pastry comes slightly above edges. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 200°C.
Line pastry shell with a piece of baking paper and fill with uncooked rice or blind-baking beans. Place on an oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 180°C. Remove paper and beans and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool (see tip).
To make panna cotta, put cream, milk, vanilla extract and sugar in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
Put boiling water in a heatproof jug and sprinkle gelatine over water. Stir until most of the gelatine has dissolved. Microwave on high/100 per cent for 10 seconds. Stir until dissolved completely. Add to cream mixture and stir to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Strain mixture into a jug. Pour into tart shell, being careful not to overfill, leaving 5mm edge to fit jelly layer. Chill for 3 hours or until set.
Meanwhile, to make jelly, put water and cordial in a small saucepan and heat until hot. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle gelatine over mixture. Whisk until dissolved. Transfer to a heatproof jug with a good pouring lip. Set aside at room temperature until cool while panna cotta is setting in fridge. When panna cotta is set, slowly pour jelly on top, see note below. Chill for 3 hours or overnight to set. Decorate with petals just before serving.
Pouring the jelly layer and then carrying the tart to the fridge without it spilling can be tricky. To avoid this, ensure you have plenty of fridge shelf space with ample height between shelves in Step 6. Pull the tray and tart out of the fridge slightly in Step 7, keeping it level. Slowly pour jelly onto the set panna cotta layer until it almost reaches the top edge of pastry. Slide gently back into fridge to set. Make sure there are no holes or split edges in pastry case. If there are any holes after baking paper and beans are removed in Step 3, use leftover pastry to gently patch holes.
Don’t have time to make pastry? For an easy recipe shortcut, use premium store-bought pastry like Carême.Tip