Greek yogurt panna cotta, and baked figs with honey and walnuts

Sep 11, 2014

  



   My grandfather planted a fig tree in the garden of our cottage that, despite its age, has never stopped producing fruits year after year. Fig trees, like olive trees, live long. They are commonly found in the Greek country side next to old houses or ruins, still in perfect shape and full of fruits every August, as if time for them is an endless youth.
     I’m sure you have had that ‘feeling’ when visiting an older relative’s house after many years, a sense that you remember it being bigger and suddenly you realize that houses usually keep their shape and that it is you who, like Alice in Wonderland, grew larger. I had that sense the other day with the fig tree in our garden. As a child I used to climb on its branches to pick more figs and back then I used to think it was huge.
      Our figs are yellow, the variety used for sun dried figs. Every August my grandmother would lay them on thatch on the terrace under the hot summer sun to dry and after the sunset every evening we would help her to carry them into the house to protect them against humidity. That ritual would be repeated for as many days as needed until the figs would dry out and be ready for storage. My grandmother stored them in cookie boxes layered with laurel leaves as a preserving agent.     
      Figs are usually consumed fresh, but in Greece we make a wonderful emerald sweet preserve in June with unripe figs, and of course as I said before, some varieties can be dried and used all year in other confections.   







Greek yogurt panna cotta, and baked figs with honey and walnuts

Serves 4

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert, but I thought to give it a Greek touch with yogurt, honey and walnuts.

For the panna cotta:

250gr Greek full fat yogurt
300gr milk
50gr granulated sugar
4gr gelatin sheets

For the baked figs:

8 fresh figs cut in half 
3Tbsps honey
4Tbsps roughly chopped walnuts

Place the gelatin sheets in a small bowl with cold water to soften them.
In a pot over medium low heat, pour the milk and sugar and let the milk get warm but NOT hot. It will take just 2-3min. Remove from heat.
Remove the softened gelatin sheets from cold water, squeeze them in your hand to remove water and mix the gelatin sheets in the warm milk for a minute until they dissolve.
Place the yogurt in a bowl and mix it with a wire whisk along with the warm milk- gelatin mixture until totally incorporated. Pour the mixture in panna cotta molds or coffee cups and place them in the fridge for several hours to set.
Baked figs:
Arrange the figs and walnuts in a baking pan, pour the honey over them and bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 30 min. Serve at room temperature with cold  panna cotta or with Greek yogurt.



10 comments

  1. Μου άρεσε πολύ αυτό που έγραψες για το ότι είμαστε σαν την Αλίκη στη χώρα των θαυματων όταν βρισκόμαστε σε μέρη που τα θυμόμαστε από μικροί. Πράγματι, έτσι ακριβώς είναι!
    Υπέροχη η πανακόττα όπως και τα σύκα!

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    1. Σε ευχαριστώ Μάγδα, χαίρομαι που σου άρεσε.

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  2. Love that you used greek yogurt as the panna cotta base.. I must try the recipe!

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    1. Yogurt gives panna cotta a lighter and a bit sour taste; thats why you need something more flavorful than just a classic sauce.

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  3. I love using Greek yogurt in my panna cotta, and so many other things as well. :) This looks so lovely with the baked figs and walnuts!

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    1. Thank you. Panna cotta seems to be an ideal canvas to try new things.

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  4. this sounds so delicious! I LOVE panna cotta, creme brulee, flan, any creamy custard dessert like this but have never had the guts to make it.

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    1. Well you should start with panna cotta. No baking, no eggs, no.... mistakes. Good luck!

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  5. Just tried your recipe, loved it much lighter than other recipes than I have tried. Didn't have figs so served with sour cherries and was yum.. Thank you for sharing the recipe

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    1. I'm glad you liked it Anne. I've tried it too with different seasonal fruits and it has always been a nice match.

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