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Author Notes: Pink-grapefruit-colored cara cara oranges are abundantly in season. Earl Grey tea is scented with heavenly orangey bergamot. I love panna cotta. The recipe wrote itself.
At a glance, it appears labor-intensive. It isn't. Most of its time is occupied by cooling the various layers, leaving you plenty of time to multi-task. It isn't sweetened excessively sweet, just enough to let the orange flavors in the tea and the infused cream shine. —boulangere
2 teabags of Earl Grey tea, a good one
10 ounces boiling water
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatine
12 ounces heavy cream
Zest peeled from one cara cara orange
4 ounces juice squeezed from cara cara oranges
1 tablespoon honey
1 ounce cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatine (1/4 ounce)
- First, prepare the gelée. I used teabags rather than bulk tea because I wanted the gelée to be bright and clear so as to glisten jewel-like. Pour the boiling water over the teabags and allow them to steep for 7 minutes. While the tea is steeping, bloom the 2 teaspoons of gelatine in 1 tablespoon of cold water. Remove the teabags without squeezing them. Stir in the honey and the gelatine. You can tell if it is completely dissolved by dipping a thumb and forefinger into the tea and rubbing them together; if you can't feel any "sandiness," all is well. Pour a half ounce (which amounted to about 1/3" in the bottom of my glasses) into the bottom of each of 4 glasses. Refrigerate the glasses. Set aside the remainder of the gelée at room temperature while you prepare the panna cotta.
- In a stainless steel saucepan, heat the cream, strips of zest, orange juice, and honey to a scald (tiny, uniform bubbles will appear around the perimiter). Remove from heat and allow the zests to steep for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bloom the packet of gelatine in one ounce of cold water. Use tongs to lift the zests from the cream and discard them. Add the gelatine and stir until it has melted. Set the pan in a bowl of cold water (NOT ice water), and stir the panna cotta continuously with a rubber spatula for about 15-20 minutes. It should reach about body temperature and feel neutral - neither cold nor warm - when tested with a finger. Check to see that the gelée has set. Divide the panna cotta equally among the glasses, wiping away any drips on the inside or outside of the glasses. Return them to the refrigerator.
- The surface of the panna cotta should set up within about 45 minutes. When you can gently tap it and your finger doesn't leave an indentation, go ahead and divide the remaining gelée among the glasses. If the gelée has begun to set up, simply microwave it for a few seconds, just enough so that it is pourable. Again refrigerate the glasses.
- The panna cotta will be ready to serve within a couple of hours, but you can certainly prepare this a day or two in advance.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Tea