Chef Craig von Foerster of the award-winning Sierra Mar Restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn shared this recipe for an unusual and incredibly flavorful dessert during a Chef Walk he led at our Farm Stand in Carmel Valley, California.
To make the panna cotta: Spray 6 ramekins with vegetable oil spray and set aside. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, steep the fennel seed, sugar, and lemon zest in 1-1/2 cups of the cream over low heat. When the cream and the sugar are dissolved, strain through a fine sieve and let cool to room temperature.
Whip the remaining 1-1/2 cups of cream to medium peaks and fold into the cooled cream mixture. Fill the prepared ramekins with the batter. Let the panna cottas set up in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Serve garnished with candied fennel and slices of your favorite citrus fruit.
To make the candied fennel: Remove the outer layer and core of the fennel bulbs, and slice them thinly on a handheld slicer or mandoline. Place the water, sugar, Pernod, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, pour over the fennel, and let cool. May be refrigerated until needed.