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Fig leaf panna cotta

Figs grow incredibly well in Nelson and are abundant at this time of the year but something that is often overlooked as an ingredient is the leaf from the tree. This panna cotta is a delicious seasonal treat made using fig leaves as a flavouring.

Makes 8 individual servings


  • 400ml cream
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5 fig leaves washed and thinly sliced
  • ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 4 gelatine, soaked in cold water to soften
  • 300ml natural unsweetened yoghurt


  • In a large saucepan bring the cream, sugar, fig leaves and vanilla to a light simmer.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 1 hour.
  • Gently reheat the cream over a low flame, add the softened gelatine, and whisk to dissolve.
  • Strain the cream through a fine sieve into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cool add the yoghurt and whisk until smooth.
  • Divide the cream mixture among eight ½ -cup ramekins, clingfilm, then chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • To serve – dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water for 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto the centre of a small plate.
  • Serve with a drizzle of honey and your favourite seasonal fruit. Fresh summer berries, stone fruits, fresh figs and poached pears are all great.
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