Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with Candied Kumquats and Sea Salt–Roasted Pistachios

Bronwen Wyatt

La Petite Grocery - New Orleans

"I took a trip to Istanbul and was incredibly inspired by the flavor profiles there," says pastry chef Wyatt. "The touch of orange blossom water and pistachios in this recipe are a nod to Turkish cuisine."



  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • Vegetable oil as needed

Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Zest from 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 sheets gelatin
  • 2 drops orange blossom water

Candied Kumquats:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup kumquats, sliced into coins

Sea Salt–Roasted Pistachios:

  • 1/2 cup raw pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Pistachios for garnish (optional)


Make the caramel: gently mix together the sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of water, and the corn syrup in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium heat. Gently stir with a heatproof rubber spatula until all the sugar is dissolved. Increase to heat to high and cover the pot for 2 minutes. (This will create a buildup of steam that will wash down the sides of the pot and prevent sugar crystals from forming.) Remove the lid and let the caramel cook to a deep amber color, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt and remaining water; stir until just combined. Working quickly, coat the bottom of four 4-ounce ramekins with a tablespoon of caramel. Let cool completely, then lightly oil the sides of the ramekins with vegetable oil.

Make the panna cotta: combine the sugar, cream, lemon zest, and salt in a sauce pot and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for about 10 minutes.

Prepare an ice bath. Gently whisk together the crème fraîche and lemon juice in a medium metal bowl. Place the bowl in the ice bath. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.

Soak the gelatin in ice water for 5 minutes. Squeeze them gently to remove excess water, then add to the warm cream mixture and whisk until they dissolve. Pour the cream through the strainer and into the reserved lemon juice and crème fraîche. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in the orange blossom water. Let cool, stirring from time to time, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Divide the mixture among the caramel-coated ramekins and chill overnight.

Make the candied kumquats: preheat the oven to 325ºF. Combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pot and bring just to a boil. Place the sliced kumquats in a 9-inch baking dish and pour the simple syrup over them. Bake for 1 to 2 hours, until the kumquat peel is almost transparent and the kumquats are very tender. Remove and let cool in the syrup. Keep the oven at heated at 325ºF.

Make the roasted pistachios: toss the pistachios with the corn syrup, sugar, and salt until coated. Toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until they become golden brown.

To serve, gently run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin. Briefly dip the bottom of each ramekin in hot water to loosen the caramel, then unmold into a shallow serving bowl. Garnish with salt-roasted pistachios and drained candied kumquats. If desired, finely grate a bright green raw pistachio over the plated dessert.


4 servings