Fennel infused Pot de Creme with Poached Apricots

 

Fennel seed is an under-appreciated ingredient. Fennel seeds can be used in sweet or savory dishes, elevating it to the next level. These seeds are widely used in Indian cooking. The toasted fennel seeds are generally eaten after dinner as a digestive/mouth freshner.  One of my favorite summer drinks to have with fennel seeds is boiling fennel in water, with some sugar for a few minutes. Let it steep for a bit, then you strain the water, and let it cool in the fridge, along with some cucumber slices! This drink is phenomenal, so cooling and extremely good for you! You can make it sugar free, and add agave or honey to make it a healthier option. A must try for sure!

 

Apricots are finally in season! My favorite thing to make with them is this amazing Apricot and Rosemary Jam that goes so well on a cheese plate. It is the perfect summer condiment, and I love to give them jars as gifts as well, during Christmas time. I am so excited that this recipe was published in the iconic Sunset Magazine, and the recipe is available on their site as well. It was an absolute pleasure working with the food team who are super nice, and really talented. I had the pleasure of working with them on food videos as well last year, using my recipes, and the videos are on their website as well. Working with them has been an absolutely amazing experience, and you start thinking about consumers and how they perceive recipes.

 

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I love using apricots in desserts as well. Apricots go so well in a tea cake. Ottolenghi has a famous recipe with the apricots prettily dressing up a cake, and pistachios on the top from his first book Plenty!

 

I experimented with fennel seeds and apricots together in this simple Indian inspired French dessert –  Pot De Crème. I steeped the heavy cream using fennel seeds, giving it that wonderful aroma and fragrance. Pot de Crème was made with this mixture. I also poached apricots in saffron, green cardamom pods, and dried rose petals. The fragrance was intoxicating! The poaching liquid was reduced to form a thicker syrup. Each pot de crème was topped with a poached apricot, the poaching syrup, a dollop of sweetened whipped crème fraiche, garnished with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals. This dessert is very elegant, delicately flavored, and really delicious 🙂 .

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Few tips: When making the pot de crème, the water bath should be at the half way mark with hot water. Do not put less water, you want it to be creamy and delicious. Do not overbake, else you will not get a good consistency. When poaching the apricots, make sure that they are firm apricots, and not too ripe, else the poached apricots will be very mushy. You want them to be nice and firm.

 

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If you do make these delicate pot de crème’s, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment on my blog, on how you liked the recipe! I am always looking to improve, and listening to readers is of most importance to me.

 

Hope you all are enjoying the beautiful produce in your farmer’s markets and having a lovely June!

 

Cheers!

XO

Amisha

 

White Chocolate-Fennel Pot de Creme with Poached Apricots

Ingredients

  • White Chocolate-Fennel Pot De Creme:
  • (Makes 4 ramekins or 4 small weck jars)
  • 5 ounces white chocolate cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • Poached Apricots in Dried Rose Petals, Saffron, Cardamom:
  • 2 firm apricots, cut into half with the seed gently removed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 2 green cardamom pods crushed
  • 2 tbsp dried rose petals
  • Garnish:
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals

Instructions

  1. White Chocolate-Fennel Pot De Creme:
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare 4 ramekins in a baking tray.
  3. Cut the white chocolate into medium to small pieces. Put it in a glass bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan, on medium to low heat, add in the heavy cream and milk with the fennel seeds. Let it heat up but do not let it boil. It should take 2 minutes. Once heated, let the mixture steep with the gas switched off, for 3-4 minutes. Pour the mixture into the white chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, add in the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and whisk vigorously, until fluffly, frothy and pale.
  6. Add the vanilla extract to the white chocolate mixture and stir with spatula until it is all well combined. Add this mixture slowly into the egg mixture and keep whisking with a whisk to combine. Strain this mixture through a fine sieve to remove any frothy bits or solids. The mixture should be smooth. Equally distribute the mixture into 4 ramekins.
  7. Prepare hot water to create a hot water bath, half way up to the ramekins. Put the baking tray in the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are jiggly when shaken. If you put it in the small weck jars, keep the jars in for about 40 minutes for it to bake all the way through.
  8. Remove from the oven, and let it sit on the baking tray for 20 more minutes. Remove from the tray and put it in the refrigerator to set for atleast 3-4 hours.
  9. Poached Apricots in Dried Rose Petals, Saffron, Cardamom:
  10. In the meanwhile, in a small saucepan, on medium heat, add in the water and sugar, and let the sugar dissolve. Once dissolved, add in the crushed green cardamom, dried rose petals, saffron and also the apricots cut side down. Let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Slowly and gently turn the apricots around, and let it simmer again for 2-3 minutes. Slowly remove the apricots from the saucepan into a plate and let it cool. Store it in the fridge until ready to use.
  11. Meanwhile, reduce the poaching liquid to half to make it syrupy at medium heat. This process takes roughly about 5 minutes. Store the syrup in a bottle, in the fridge. Let it cool for atleast an hour.
  12. Assembly:
  13. Whip the heavy cream, crème fraiche and powdered sugar with a whisk in a medium bowl for about a minute until it is smooth. Don’t overwhip else it will get clumpy.
  14. On all the ramekins, top with a poached apricot, pour about 2 tsps of the poaching syrup. Add a nice dollop of the whipped sweetened creamy crème fraiche on top of the apricot. Garnish with dried rose petals and chopped pistachios.
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