This elegant yet easy-to-make dessert—starring longtime customer-favorite Marco Polo tea from Mariage Frères—needs only seven ingredients and is a breeze to prepare. The most difficile part is waiting for the panna cotta to set!
The subtle notes of red fruit and berries in the tea lend themselves beautifully to these luscious, creamy cupfuls and perfectly complement the fresh berry garnish.
Cook's note: This recipe's panna cotta has a supple, silky just-set texture ideal for serving in teacups, ramekins or glasses. If you would like a firmer panna cotta that you can unmold, use 2 1/2-3 gelatin sheets and lightly grease your ramekins with a neutral oil (like canola) before pouring the liquid panna cotta mixture in.
In a small saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the hot milk from the heat and stir in the loose-leaf Marco Polo tea. Let the tea steep in the milk, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes. Strain into a large bowl and set aside, discarding the used tea leaves.
While the tea is steeping, soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for about 5-7 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and 6 tablespoons of the sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add to reserved tea-steeped milk mixture along with a small pinch of salt.
Remove the soaked gelatin sheets from the water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Add the gelatin sheets to the hot cream/milk mixture, and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Strain the mixture into a 4-cup measuring cup. Divide the liquid tea panna cotta between six small ramekins, teacups or glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, 3 hours to overnight.
About 10-15 minutes before serving, toss the diced strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and let macerate. To serve, spoon the macerated berries over the chilled panna cotta.