Honey-Saffron Panna Cottas


Panna cotta traditionally hails from Italy, but our version is decidedly Middle Eastern. Heady saffron imparts a sunny color; toasted almonds, honey, and lemon zest round out the exotic flavor.


  • ½ cup whole blanched almonds

  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream

  • cup honey, plus more for drizzling

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads

  • 2 strips lemon zest (each 3 inches long)

  • teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin

  • 2 tablespoons cold water

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • Cocoa Bee Cookies

  • Spice Bee Cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Let cool slightly, and then coarsely chop.

  2. Combine almonds with cream, honey, saffron, lemon zest, and salt in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve honey. Remove from heat. Cover, and set aside to infuse 1 hour.

  3. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Bring cream mixture to a simmer. Add gelatin mixture, and stir to dissolve. Pour through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in milk. Divide among nine 2-ounce (2 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches deep) ramekins. Refrigerate panna cottas until set, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).

  5. To unmold, dip ramekins into hot water briefly, making sure water does not reach rim. Run a knife around edge of each panna cotta, and invert onto a plate. Drizzle with honey. Serve with cookies.

Cook's Notes

You will get the most flavor and color from the saffron when you crush it into a powder using a mortar and pestle.

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