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Lemongrass Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries

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Serves 8

  • by from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking
    Episode 6

Although chef Oringer flavored his cool Italian panna cotta with sassafras (it has a licorice-like flavor and was once used in root beer), we substituted the easier-to-find yet deliciously spicy lemongrass in both the custard and the fruit that garnishes it.

For the panna cotta
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layer discarded; cut into 2-inch pieces and bruised
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin (one 1/4 oz. envelope)
  • 1-1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
For the strawberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layer discarded; bottom 6 inches thinly sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for finishing
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • Edible flowers, such as pansy or nasturtium
Make the panna cotta

Combine the cream, lemongrass, sugar, and salt in 2-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let steep 30 minutes, covered.

Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the buttermilk and let sit for 5 minutes to soften. Rewarm the cream mixture over medium heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the buttermilk. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Divide the mixture evenly among eight 4-oz. ramekins and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

Macerate the strawberries

Put the water, sugar, and lemongrass in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

Put the strawberries into a large bowl. Strain the syrup mixture through a fine mesh sieve and toss with the strawberries.

Garnish the panna cotta with the macerated strawberries, pinch of sea salt, mint leaves, and edible flowers.

Recipe adapted from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.

Season 2 of Moveable Feast

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