Just quietly, this easy dessert has had numerous variations and many moments of kicking my butt before I got to the beautiful creation you see here now – my Pistachio Rose Panna Cotta Tart.
This started as rose water mousse with a pistachio cookie, in a glass. Next it was a rose water panna cotta in a glass with a pistachio cookie. That morphed into a tart with a cookie base and a panna cotta top. Each of these variations were failures for different reasons but I stuck with it because I knew this could be amazing. And it is.
I won’t lie – this beauty takes a little patience but I urge you to try it. You’ll need to
- make and bake a pastry case – not difficult but it takes a little time
- make the panna cotta – extremely quick and simple but you’ll need patience for it to set
- add a jelly on top – also very quick and easy but again, patience for setting.
There is lots of waiting time for setting on this tart, so you can certainly do it in stages but you will be rewarded with the most sublime dessert you’ve ever made.
What is Rose Panna Cotta
I have a fixation with panna cotta recipes. I posted the very first panna cotta recipe I ever made ages ago now with this Vanilla Panna Cotta with Orange Syrup and since then it’s evolved into so many flavours. This Vanilla Chai Panna Cotta is my fave.
Panna Cotta is a delicate and elegant dessert and it deserves a delicate flavour. If you’re concerned about the rose flavour, don’t be. It’s very subtle. I’ve never been a huge Turkish delight fan and I still love this tart. I mean, I looooove this tart.
To be sure, make sure to add your flavouring a little at a time and taste as you go as different extracts can vary greatly in strength.
The tart shell is crisp and thin, and filled with that unmistakable pistachio flavour on account of the crushed pistachio nuts. The rose panna cotta filling is soft and melts away in your mouth. The rose jelly topping actually gets it’s colour from a handful of raspberries, so this tart full of bliss is all natural.
How long will this tart take to make?
While the hands on time is minimal (around 30-40 minutes as you’ll see below), there is setting time to take into account, so make sure to plan ahead.
- Pistachio Tart Crust (20 minutes effort)– quick pastry dough, rest, bake, cut off overhang, bake. Done.
- Rose Panna Cotta Filling (5 minutes effort) – put half the ingredients in a saucepan, dissolve sugar and gelatine, mix with other ingredients, put in tart shell.
- Rose Jelly topping (5 minutes effort) – mix together the ingredients, heat and dissolve gelatine and sugar, push through a strainer and pour it over the set panna cotta
That’s it. It’s more simple than it looks and you are rewarded with a stunning, elegant Rose Panna Cotta Tart with a crispy pistachio tart crust to serve for dessert.
How to make this tart
Blitz together the dry ingredients then add the butter and process that into the mix too.
Slowly drizzle in the ice cold water and blitz until your dough starts clumpling.
I use baking paper to help to pull the dough together so that I don’t handle it too much. Heat from your hands can melt the butter in the dough and make the end result less crispy. Then just wrap the dough in this piece of baking paper and place in the fridge for 1/2 an hour.
Roll the dough out and lay it into your tart tin (see the video link above for how to line the base of the tin easily). Press it into the corners and use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off all but 1cm of the overhanging pastry. Place it in the freezer for 15 minutes, then use a fork to poke holes all over the base and bake for 20 minutes.
Brush the base all over with egg white (this will act as a seal against the liquid we’ll be adding later) then hold a knife flat against the top of the tin and in quick strokes, cut away the excess pastry. Bake for another 20 minutes.
To make the panna cotta, just sprinkle gelatine over some milk and sugar in small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until it all dissolves. This will only take a few minutes and won’t even need to come to a simmer. Mix it with the cream and rose water essence.
Pour just 1/2 a cup of the panna cotta into the tart shell then place it in the freezer for 10 minutes. This step just creates a quick seal of panna cotta on the base. Now add the remaining panna cotta and place it flat in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
Water and sugar go into a small saucepan with gelatine sprinkled over the top and leave it to soften for a few minutes. Now heat it and stir over low heat just like you did the panna cotta. This will only take a couple of minutes. Add some frozen raspberries and the rosewater essence and press down on the raspberries until the liquid is pink. Now carefully, slowly pour it over the set panna cotta. Let the jelly set for around 1 hour before serving. Done.
How to store this tart
Make sure to keep this refrigerated until serving time. Panna Cotta is essentially a milk jelly and will melt if you leave it sitting out for too long prior to serving. In saying that, I had it out for about ½ an hour while taking photos and it still held it’s shape and those perfect layers.
The tart is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge and it is not suitable to freeze. This tart is best served within 1 day of making it. Over time pastry will soften more so while it will still hold it’s shape, the pastry won’t stay as firm after that.
What is rose water
I used rose water essence (by Queen Fine Foods) but as rose can be a strong flavour, the rose water or rose extract you find may give a different result. I would say, unless you’re using the exact extract I used, just add a little at a time and taste it each time until you’re happy.
More recipes you’ll love
- Coconut panna cotta
- Rose Strawberry Lamingtons
- Baklava Frangipane Tart
- Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Jelly
- Fresh Peach Panna Cotta Tart
- Almond Honey Panna Cotta
This recipe requires setting time, so make sure to plan ahead
For the pistachio tart shell
- 100 g pistachios (3.5oz)
- 1 ¼ cups plain (all-purp) flour (163g / 6oz)
- ⅓ cup icing (confectioners / powdered) sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 113 g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes (1 stick / ½ cup / 4oz)
- 1 - 1 ½ tablespoons ice water (20-30ml) (notes 1)
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
For the Panna Cotta
For the rose jelly
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
For the tart shell
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line the base of a 9 inch fluted tart tin with removable base with baking paper.
- Blitz the pistachios in a blender or food processor until very fine (the largest pieces should be only 1mm round)
- Add the pistachios, flour, sugar and salt to the food processor and blitz until well combined. Add the butter and blitz for only 5-10 seconds until the mixture is like large breadcrumbs. Slowly drizzle in the water while the processor is running on low and stop as soon as it starts forming large clumps.
- Tip the dough out onto a piece of baking paper and use the paper to help you pull it together into a flat disk. Wrap in the baking paper and place in the fridge for ½ an hour.
- Dust a large sheet of baking paper with flour and sit the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour, then roll the out to a large circle about 3mm thick.
- Rest your whole arm underneath the pastry and baking paper to lift it. With the other hand hold the tin and base together with one finger and thumb and tip it upside down over the pastry as you flip the pastry towards it, then flip it back up the right way. Carefully pull away the baking paper, then gently nudge the pastry down into the corners. Trim the overhang with a pair of kitchen scissors to just 1 cm above the lip of the tin and make the dough sit up straight.
- Freeze for 15 minutes. Prick the base all over with a fork, then line with baking paper and baking weights
- Bake for 20 minutes. Gather up the corners of the paper and transfer it with the pastry weights to a heatproof dish. Use a sharp knife, laid flat to the top of the tin, to cut away the excess pastry. Brush the inside of the tart shell with beaten egg white all over the base and sides. Bake for a further 20 minutes. Any hairline cracks are fine.
- As soon as the tin is cool enough to handle, place the shell in the freezer until cold - this will help the panna cotta set more quickly and reduce the risk of leaking or soaking into the base anywhere.
For the rose Panna Cotta
- Pour the cold milk into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Allow it to "bloom" for 5 minutes (it should look a bit wrinkly by the end). Turn the heat on low under the milk and stir for a minute or two until the gelatine has dissolved.
- Add the sugar and stir again until dissolved. This should only take another minute or two. Don't let the milk get too hot or to come to a simmer. It should only be just warm.
- Take the saucepan off the heat. Pour in the cream, rose water essence (a little at a time to taste- notes) and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour just ½ a cup into the frozen tart shell and swirl around so the bottom is coated. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Pour in the remaining panna cotta mixture and place flat in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours to set.
For the Rose Jelly
- Place the water and sugar into a saucepan and sprinkle over the gelatine. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes.
- Heat over low heat and stir until the sugar and gelatine has dissolved. Add the raspberries and rose essence and stir, pressing down on the raspberries until the liquid is pink.
- Pour the liquid through a strainer into a small jug before gently pouring over the top of the set Panna Cotta.
- Return to the fridge and allow to set for an hour before serving.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- I use this Rosewater Essence. If you can't get this brand, add your rose flavouring a little at a time until you get the desired flavour. Essences and extract depth of flavour can vary greatly.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- Plastic wrap may stick to the surface of the tart and ruin the appearance. To store it in the fridge, I have a large round plastic container that I bought from a bargains shop but if you don't have one, you can place a plate over the top of the tin to protect it.
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