This is a very easy, very lovely, end of summer dessert. The addition of mastiha, which is the resin of the Mastic tree found on the Island of Chios, gives it a rich and light pine flavor. You can find mastiha at any Greek or Middle Eastern store, and you can also leave it out entirely.
I like to make the compote with apricots, but also with whatever I find at the farmer's market like peaches, plums or any berry. Adjust the amount of sugar you use depending on how sweet your fruit is.
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Mastiha
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 1/4 cups strained whole milk yogurt
1 3/4 heavy whipping cream divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground mastiha* (optional)
Lightly oil 8 4-ounce ramekins or something comparable. (I like using little glasses or bowls too.)
Combine 2 tablespoons of water and lemon juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and whisk to combine. Let soften for about 15 minutes. Whisk the yogurt and 3/4 cup cream in a large bowl.
Combine 1 cup of cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin mixture whisking until the gelatin dissolves. Add the mastiha if using, and whisk again. Add gelatin mixture to yogurt mixture and whisk together. Pour into prepared ramekins, allow to cool a bit and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least 3-4 hours.
Makes about 1 cup
About 10 fresh apricots or any other seasonal fruit
1/4 cup sugar, more if you want it sweeter
2 tablespoons water
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Remove the pits from the apricots by prying them open with your hands. Leave the apricots in halves, and in a medium saucepan combine them with the sugar, water, lemon juice and vanilla. Simmer over medium/low heat until the apricots are falling apart and very soft. About 25-30 minutes. You can mash them a bit with the bottom of a glass too.
Allow the compote to cool and serve spooned over the panna cotta.