This is absolutly a dessert that reflects 100% of our territory.

San Gimignano is home to many beauties and delicacies and saffron is certainly a distinctive element of this wonderful area. Expertly cultivated with a lot of patience and harvested by hand.

Saffron is the most precious spice, a gram of pistils of the best quality can cost up to 30 euros. Its pungent taste and its intense color make it an irreplaceable ingredient in the kitchen and some present phytonutrients have really interesting properties. Saffron is obtained from a particular variety of crocus, Crocus sativus, a plant of the Iridaceae family, of which the three stigmas are used, the part destined to receive pollen, hand-picked and dried. The new shoots bloom at the beginning of autumn and generally bloom towards the middle of October. Flowering occurs at dawn and the flower withers very quickly: the crocuses of a plot bloom in a window of about two weeks.

The flowers are harvested by hand, with great timing and speed, from sunrise to 9-10 am, to avoid the complete opening of the flower and the breaking of the stigma. The stigmas are taken from the freshly picked flowers, an extremely delicate operation that requires great care and dexterity, to avoid breaking the precious filaments. The stigmas collected are dried, a critical operation on which the quality of saffron depends: stigmas must be sufficiently dehydrated to prevent any fermentation process but must nevertheless remain soft and elastic.

The drying can be done in rooms kept at a suitable temperature, in the sun or, as it happens more and more often, using electric ovens in order to make the process faster and with more easily standardized results.

The color must be a beautiful purple red, lively and vibrant, with a strong and intense aroma.

AuthorToscane DI GustoCategory, DifficultyIntermediate

Prep Time30 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time50 mins

 ½ l fresh cream to whip
 150 g sugar
 10 g gelatine
 vanilla extract
 saffron pistils
 a little bag of saffron powder
 chopped almonds

1

PREPARATION OF COOKED CREAM:
soak the gelatine for 10 minutes in cold water; at the same time, put the cream, sugar and saffron (both the powdered one and the pistils) in a non-stick pan and bring to a boil slowly.
Remove from heat and add the gelatine that you have softened in the water and add the vanilla extract. Melt all the ingredients well and then place the cream in the panna cotta molds.
Let it rest in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

2

PREPARATION OF SALTED CRISP:
put the sugar in a non-stick pan and let it melt over low heat without turning it. Add the chopped and toasted almonds and turn the caramel with a wooden spoon.
Then take the parchment paper to spread the caramel giving it the shape you want to decorate the panna cotta.

Ingredients

 ½ l fresh cream to whip
 150 g sugar
 10 g gelatine
 vanilla extract
 saffron pistils
 a little bag of saffron powder
 chopped almonds

Directions

1

PREPARATION OF COOKED CREAM:
soak the gelatine for 10 minutes in cold water; at the same time, put the cream, sugar and saffron (both the powdered one and the pistils) in a non-stick pan and bring to a boil slowly.
Remove from heat and add the gelatine that you have softened in the water and add the vanilla extract. Melt all the ingredients well and then place the cream in the panna cotta molds.
Let it rest in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

2

PREPARATION OF SALTED CRISP:
put the sugar in a non-stick pan and let it melt over low heat without turning it. Add the chopped and toasted almonds and turn the caramel with a wooden spoon.
Then take the parchment paper to spread the caramel giving it the shape you want to decorate the panna cotta.

Saffron panna cotta with salted almond brittle
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