Even though a sour cherry pie was sounding very tempting, I had my heart set on something else... A while ago, when I made the vanilla yogurt panna cotta I used a nice thick and creamy Greek yogurt and the fact that it was a Greek yogurt naturally got me to thinking about Greek flavours and in particular mastic resin. (Mastic resin is the crystallized resin of the mastic tree and it is commonly used in sweets, gum and even liqueur.) I quite enjoy the mastic flavour and I figured that it would both do well in panna cotta form and be great with a fresh sour cherry sauce.
This panna cotta recipe is quite easy to make and always turns out great. It does require a bit of chilling time so you need to plan ahead. This isn't normally a problem though as it lasts as few days in the fridge so you can easily make it a day or so ahead of time which is always nice. The last time I made this panna cotta I made it in containers where I wanted to serve it in those containers but this time I wanted to be able to slip the panna cotta out of the containers and onto plates to serve. To do this I greased the containers well with a clear, flavourless oil before filling them and chilling them. Greasing the containers worked like a charm and the panna cotta was amazingly good! It was so creamy and nice and cool and refreshing and perfect on a hot summer day. The mastic flavour worked really well in the panna cotta and the flavours of the sour cherry compote complimented it perfectly. I am glad that I have a few more of these to enjoy over the next few days!
Mastic Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with a Sour Cherry Sauce
- 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon mastic resin crystals
- 1 (16 ounce) container Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat)
- 1 cup sour cherry sauce
- 1/4 cup pistachios (chopped)
- Sprinkle the gelatin into the water in a bowl and let sit until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Grind the mastic resin crystals in a mortar and pestle along with some sugar.
- Bring the cream, sugar and mastic resin to a simmer in a small sauce pan until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and mix in the gelatin.
- Whisk the yogurt in a bowl until smooth.
- Whisk the cream into the yogurt.
- Pour the mixture into 4 (1 cup), well greased ramekins (or the equivalent) and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Serve chilled, straight from the fridge, topped with sour cherry sauce and chopped pistachios.