Friday, June 21, 2013

Apricot and Vanilla Panna Cotta in Weck Jars

My love for apricots started when I was real young. I was captured by the sweet and tangy taste of the summer fruit. I have a vivid memory of sitting at my Mémé lunch table watching Pépé (my grandfather) parting the stone fruit in half to check if a small worm was hidden in it. And guess what? He did find once a tiny fruit worm and since then I cannot eat an apricot without cutting it in two and looking inside. I was six back then and I can still remember these little details that stayed with me till today.

Apricots are a big staple in the oriental cuisine. They are eaten raw, cooked as jams, dried, pureed and dry rolled. It is a very healthy and nutritious fruit. Dry they can be preserved for years. They don’t lose their flavor or shape. They are also very easy to work with and can even be used in savory dishes. Added to a dish of game and poultry they accentuate the flavors and give a bit of tang to it.

Apricots are in season now. I miss the apricots I used to eat in Egypt. Still, I find a nice assortment of apricots that are sold in the Montreal supermarket coming from the States.

I got these beautiful Weck glass jars from Williams Sonoma at the Quartier X30 store. They are amazing. I loved making the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Apricots in them. Such a feast for the eyes! I plan on baking cakes in them too. They are so versatile.  I am so happy with my purchase. Finally William Sonoma is here and I can buy all the amazing cuisine gadgets locally. Check their facebook page here:

So here is the yummy recipe I want to share with you. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions please leave me your comments below.  Thank you for reading my blog and for all your comments.

*To print recipe click on the green PRINT FRIENDLY button end of the post.

VANILLA PANNA COTTA (for six Weck Mini Mold Jars)
- 400 g of 35% cream (or 15%)
- 100 g of milk (3.5 oz / 104 ml)
- 60 g of sugar
- 6 g of gelatine (about 3 sheets of gelatine)
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract with pasta)

Soften the gelatin in cold water.
Split the vanilla bean in half and reserve the seeds.
Boil for one minute the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds (or vanilla paste). Then Remove the vanilla pod. Add the softened gelatine mixture is still hot and stir to melt.

- 2 tsp agar agar (or 4g gelatin sheets)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract with paste (sold at William Sonoma)
- 1 kilo of apricots (8-10 beautiful apricots) seeds removed
- ½ cup sugar (I prefer raw organic sugar)

- Roasted Hazelnuts or Pistachios for garnish (optional)

Put the apricots and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and cook for 30 minutes. When the fruit is fully cooked and it had fallen apart, add the vanilla and agar agar. (If you do not have agar agar, add 2 gelatin sheets that were softened in cold water and then add them to the hot mixture.) Allow the mixture to cool then pour in your Weck jars or any glass container of your choice. To create layer of Panna Cotta and Apricot preserve, start by pouring the apricot mixture in the Wecks then alternate between Panna Cotta and the apricot mixture. Allow each layer to cool and harden in the fridge for about 15 minutes or so, before adding the next layer. Then put the filled Weck jars in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with toasted chopped hazelnuts or pistachios. Enjoy!


How to use Gelatin in your recipes (by David Lebovitz):

To Use Sheet Gelatin

  • Soak sheet(s) of gelatin in a bowl cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. (Figure about 1 cup, 250ml, cold water per sheet.)
  • Once soft, lift sheets from the cold water.
  • Wring gently to remove excess water, than add to warm liquid, the quantity called for in the recipe, stirring until dissolved. If adding to a cold mixture, melt the softened sheets in a saucepan or microwave over very low heat, stirring just until melted completely. Then stir in the cold mixture gradually.

To Use Powdered Gelatin

  • Sprinkle the granules of gelatin over the surface cold water or liquid. Use 1/4 cup, 60ml, or whatever quantity is called for in the recipe, per envelope. Do not dump them in a pile, as the granules in the middle won’t dissolve.
  • Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add warm liquid or heat gently, stirring until dissolved. To verify the granules are melted, lift the stirring utensil and make certain that there are no undissolved granules clinging to it.

Want to learn more about gelatine, go to


Le Coin Francophone:

Recette de Panna Cotta et sa Gélée d'Abricots

*Pour imprimer la recette cliquer sur le bouton vert au bas de la page.

PANNA COTTA VANILLE (pour six petites vérines Weck) 
- 400 g de crème fleurette
- 100 g de lait
- 60 g de sucre
- 6 g de feuilles de gélatine
- une gousse de vanille (ou 1 c à c depâte de gousse de vanille vendu chez William Sonoma)

Faire ramollir les feuilles de gélatine dans l'eau froide.
Fendre la gousse de vanille en deux dans le sens de la longueur et récupérer les graines.
Faire bouillir pendant une minute la crème, le lait, le sucre, la gousse de vanille vide et ses graines (ou la pâte de gousse de vanille). Retirer la gousse de vanille vide. Ajouter la gélatine essorée au mélange encore chaud et mélanger pour la faire fondre.

- 2 c à c d’agar agar (ou 4g de feuilles de gélatines)
- 1 c à c de pâte de gousse de vanille (vendu chez William Sonoma)
- 1 kilo d’abricots (8 – 10 beaux abricots) sans le noyau
- ½ tasse de sucre

- Noisettes ou Pistaches grillés pour garniture (optionnel)

Mettre les abricots et le sucre dans une petite casserole sur feu doux et laisser cuire pendant 30 minutes. Quand les fruits sont réduits en compote, ajouter la vanille et l’agar agar. (Si vous n’avez pas d’agar agar, faites ramollir 2 feuilles de gélatine dans de l’eau froide et rajoutez les ensuite au mélange chaud.)  Laisser refroidir le mélange ensuite répartir dans des vérines Weck ou le contenant de votre choix. Pour faire des étage de Panna Cotta et Gelé d’Abricot, alterner les deux mélange. Caque étage doit être assez solide avant de mettre le prochain. Pour ce faire il faut mettre les vérines dans le frigidaire pendant minimum 15 min pour que chaque étage soit assez solide avant de rajouter le prochain étage. Ensuite laisser reposer les vérines au réfrigérateur pendant au moins deux heures avant de servir.  Garnir de noisette grillé hachées ou de pistaches. Bon appétit.