This Turkish-Italian style Wildflower Honey Panna Cotta with Apricot and Pistachio is made with silky mascarpone, an apricot jam, toasted pistachios, and sweetened with the warm, golden, and bright notes found in Brine’s Fine Honeys Minnesota Wildflower Honey‒a luxurious summer dessert prepared without a hot oven in under a half hour.

What is Panna Cotta?
Italian panna cotta means “cooked cream.” Panna cotta is truly the ideal no-bake summer dessert that takes so little time to do. This wildflower honey panna cotta is made on a stove with sweetened cream and gelatin. In this case, the panna cotta also includes a sweet mascarpone cheese, which adds to the creaminess and thickens the texture even more.

The great thing about panna cotta is that you can infuse it with any ingredients and flavors you like. In this case, due to the use of Brine’s Minnesota Wildflower Honey, the additional flavors that stand out the best include the classic Turkish combination of apricot and pistachio. Turkish cuisine loves to use honey in both sweet and savory dishes, so the flavor profile not only complemented the honey, but the Italian panna cotta as well.

Brine’s Minnesota Wildflower Honey
A pretty panna cotta recipe deserves a pretty honey, which is why the MN Wildflower Honey from Brine’s Fine Honeys is the perfect choice to add sweetness and depth of flavor to this Italian classic. On a basic level, using mascarpone with honey is a known winner of flavor combinations.

Digging deeper, it turns out that using a stone fruit (apricot), along with the juice and zest of a lemon, also plays wonderfully into the tasting notes and aroma of this wildflower honey. The wildflower honey includes sweetness, warmth, pear and peach (also stone fruits), and a bright, citrusy layer from the basswood flowers inherent in the Wildflower Honey flavor profile.

Brine’s Minnesota Wildflower Honey Panna Cotta with Apricot and Pistachio

This Turkish-Italian style Wildflower Honey Panna Cotta with Apricot and Pistachio is made with silky mascarpone, an apricot jam, toasted pistachios, and sweetened with the warm, golden, and bright notes found in Brine’s Fine Honeys' Minnesota Wildflower Honey ‒ a luxurious summer dessert prepared without a hot oven in under a half hour.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

Panna Cotta

  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 ⅓ cups Brine’s Minnesota Wildflower Honey
  • 1 envelope (¼ ounce) powdered gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chopped/crushed toasted pistachios

Apricot Jam

Instructions
 

For the Panna Cotta

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone, Brine’s MN Wildflower Honey, and lemon juice together until fully incorporated.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of the heavy cream, along with the whole milk and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with lemon zest.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add the powdered gelatin and leave for 1 minute. Stir the mixture until all of the gelatin is dissolved. 
  • Return the pan to low heat and whisk the mascarpone mixture into the pan. Add the vanilla extract and pinch of salt and stir.
  • Keep whisking for 3-5 minutes until the cream mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Set aside and allow the cream to cool completely.
  • Grease 8 ice-cream dishes, panna cotta molds, or 16 miniature (4 ounce) mason jars and carefully pour in the cooled cream mixture, making sure to leave room at the top (or bottom, if using the molds) for the apricot jam after the panna cotta are cold.
  • Cover the panna cotta with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

For the Apricot Jam

  • If making homemade apricot jam, you will find a wonderful and simple-to-make recipe here by David Lebovitz. Make sure to substitute 2 ⅓ cups Brine’s MN Wildflower Honey in place of the 3 cups of sugar in the original recipe.
  • If using store-bought apricot preserves like Bonne Maman, warm up over medium-low heat in a saucepan with an additional two tablespoons of Brine’s MN Wildflower Honey for a few minutes. Allow to cool completely.

To Assemble

  • If using molds, when the panna cotta are firm, add a layer of apricot jam to the bottom of the molds and refrigerate for an additional hour.
  • Release from the molds and add the chopped pistachios and a drizzle of additional Brine’s MN Wildflower Honey over the top.
  • If using ice cream dishes or small mason jars, add the layer of apricot jam on top, followed by chopped, toasted pistachios and a drizzle of additional Brine’s MN Wildflower Honey.

Notes

FAQs

How do you choose the best variety of honey for a recipe?
Whether using honey in a sweet or savory recipe, it is a lot of fun to find the right combination of tasting notes, aroma, and sometimes even texture between the honey and the other ingredients in the recipe. Often, the tasting notes of the honey will clue you into what you should be looking for in a recipe, e.g. using buckwheat honey in place of molasses or using coriander honey in a cocktail recipe that includes an herbal element.
What is the conversion rate for substituting sugar with honey?
Generally speaking, the first cup of sugar used can be exchanged equally, meaning 1 cup of granulated sugar used in a recipe can be substituted with 1 cup of honey. After that, every additional cup of sugar should be replaced with approximately ⅔ cup of honey. So, a recipe that uses 2 cups of sugar would use 1 ⅔ cup of honey. Always remember to taste and adjust to your liking (source)!
Can you use a store-bought jam instead of making your own from scratch?
Yes. In fact, store-bought Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves were used for this recipe. To enhance the honey flavor without over sweetening the jam, only two additional tablespoons of Brine’s MN Wildflower Honey were added to the preserves while being warmed. The end result is a warm, sweet and golden flavored apricot honey jam.