Fig Leaf Panna Cotta
Recipe Intro From lisathompson

Did you know you can eat fig leaves? Fresh fig leaves have a unique flavor reminisent of coconut, matcha, and pistachio and works beautifully into desserts. Not sure where to source fig leaves if you don't have your own tree? Look around your neighborhood! These canopy-like trees often grow tall and wide, meaning your neighbors would surely let you snag a leaf or two for this dessert. Sometimes fig trees even grow wild, so check out your local parks for the signature leaves! A layer of jellied apricot jam lends a tartness to this creamy, chilled dessert for Sicilian summer vibes.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large fresh fig leaf
  • 1/ 4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes plain gelatin
  • 1/ 2 cup water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/ 4 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3/ 4 cup apricot preserves


  • Step 1

    Blend milk with fig leaf, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract in a high speed blender for about 1 minute on high speed. Let steep for 30 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, pour each gelatin packet into a separate bowl. Remove 1 teaspoon from one bowl and add it to the other bowl (this stronger mixture will be for the panna cotta base, you can label them if necessary!) Stir 1/4 cup water into each bowl and let bloom for 15 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Pour steeped milk mixture into a medium pot along with heavy cream and powdered sugar, then cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the stronger bloomed gelatin, stirring vigorously until gelatin is completely melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Set four small bowls, ramekins, or round coffee cups on a small baking sheet, then pour 1 cup of the cream mixture into each. Cover cups with a lightly wet paper towel or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, heat apricot preserves with 2 tablespoons water over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for about 2-3 minutes, then stir in remaining bloomed gelatin, stirring again until gelatin is completely melted.

  • Step 5

    Top partially set panna cotta with a few tablespoons of the apricot mixture, then cover with lightly wet paper towel or plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 1 1/2 hours or overnight.

  • Step 6

    Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Alternatively, dip each bowl or ramekin in hot tap water to loosen the sides slightly. Separate edge of the panna cotta with an offset spatula or small knife, then invert onto a dessert plate, if desired.