For me this should really be called vanilla-papaya panna cotta. When I went to the market the mangos just didn’t seem quite sweet and ripe enough but they had some wonderful smelling Hawaiian papaya. I’m sure that a lot of tropical fruit would be pretty amazing in this.
I love a good simple yet surprising recipe and this is definitely one of those. Panna cotta is one of my absolute favorite desserts and I have a little collection of different variations. They are great for guest dinners because you can make them ahead and they always seem to turn out pretty great.
The part that makes this panna cotta special is the fruit puree. I wanted mine to have the bite of the lime but also be enjoyably sweet so I added a good spoonful of honey to mine along with a lot of lime juice. I didn’t bother with straining to get a super fine texture, I just blended it as well as I could. The puree gets popped into the freezer to set in the glasses.
Next milk, cream and sugar get brought to a boil and then steeped with a vanilla bean and all of its aromatic pulp.
Gelatin is the key to the wonderful texture of the finished panna cotta. Once it blooms the cream mixture gets brought back to a boil and mixed with the gelatin.
Once it’s cool enough the cream mixture is poured over the fruit and it’s simply refrigerate and enjoy.
For me this is a perfect Arizona summer dessert. Cold and lightly sweet with tropical flavors. It doesn’t require the use of my oven and can be made easily. The papaya was perfect with the cold vanilla cream flavor and the lime and honey added depth. I really enjoyed this dessert and will probably add it to my favorite panna cotta recipes.
So before I get into my tart…new Photos for OS X disappointing anyone else? It’s been making blogging really difficult. I’m considering just switching back to a PC and getting rid of my iMac. Apple can make things pretty but they always seem to have trouble with making them functional. So on to the tart.
Once you have all the pieces of this tart it’s a breeze to get together. Unfortunately those pieces can take some time.
While the homemade lady fingers were pretty good in this tart I think if I ever attempt this again I’ll try it with the store bought kind. They added too much time and fuss to the process for me even though they tasted pretty good.
Once the lady fingers are made and tart crust is pre-baked it’s all about assembly. The lady finger get places in a spiral on the bottom of the tart.
Then the apricots and some sugar get placed in too. I actually wished I had a few more than called for because I felt this still had some gaps but it ended up being ok at the end.
Once the apricots get baked for a bit then butter and raspberries and a little more sugar gets added and it goes back in the oven.
Final step is to add some pistachios and put it back in the oven for a bit. Then it’s just cool it down some and enjoy.
One thing we learned pretty quick was that this tart is only as good as the apricots that you put into it. Unfortunately the local ones are out of season by now and the ones from the store were pretty bland. I was especially bummed because my crust was the best yet and came out pretty perfect. The tart looked pretty fabulous but it just didn’t have the same punch when you took a bite. However, I think this recipe is still a winner despite the fuss with ingredients. I would try it again when my local apricots are at the peak of their season and can add needed sweetness and depth.