Pea panna cotta, blue cheese clafoutis, asparagus, porcini mushroom

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Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Rust en Vrede

The saltiness of the blue cheese with the contrast of the sweet asparagus and pea is lovely in this dish. Also lovely, is the contrast of textures from the creaminess of the panna cotta and clafoutis with the crisp asparagus.


Pea panna cotta

  • 2 sheets gelatin
  • ice water
  • 200 g peas
  • 3 g truffle oil
  • 200 ml milk
  • 200 ml cream
  • 5 g salt

Blue cheese clafoutis

  • 280 g flour
  • pinch salt
  • 130 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 135 g crème fraîche
  • 100 g flour
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 200 ml milk
  • 200 ml cream
  • 100 g Ganzvlei Blue Moon cheese

Shaved asparagus

  • 8 green asparagus spears

Shaved porcini

  • 6 fresh porcini mushrooms
  • 80 peas - blanched, refreshed in ice water and popped from shells
  • 16 shavings Blue moon blue cheese – 2 per serving
  • 120 ml sherry and truffle dressing – 15ml per serving
  • porcini powder – to dust


Line 4 ring moulds 8 × 3cm deep and place inside a tray. Ensure that the bottoms of the moulds are covered with cling film. In the meantime, bloom the gelatin in ice water.

In a pot of boiling water, blanch the peas for 1 minute and refresh in ice water. Transfer the peas to a blender with the truffle oil. In a separate pot, combine the milk and cream. Heat to a gentle simmer and add the gelatin leaves to dissolve. Remove from the stove and add to the blender. Blend until everything is well incorporated. Strain and pour into the ring moulds and place the tray in the fridge to allow the panna cotta to set. When ready to serve, remove the panna cotta from the moulds and cut each in half so that you have 8 half-moons.

Make the pastry first. Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter. Separately, mix the egg and crème fraîche together and add to the flour mixture. Mix to form smooth pastry and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the clafoutis, combine the flour, eggs, milk and cream, and whisk. Break the blue cheese into pieces and set aside. Roll out the dough and line a tray 16 × 20 × 4cm deep with silicone paper, followed by the pastry. Place the tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Blind bake the pastry at 150°C until a pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Into the partly-baked pastry crust, pour the custard mix and sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese. Bake at 165°C until the custard has set. Remove from the oven once set and cut into 8 rectangles across the width of the tray.

Cut the fibrous bases off the asparagus spears. Shave thinly on a mandolin or peeler and place in ice water to curl.

Wipe the porcini with a damp cloth to remove sediment. Peel the stems to remove the outer skin. Remove the ‘gills’ under each cap. Shave the mushrooms thinly on a mandolin. Reserve for serving.

To assemble, warm the clafoutis at 50°C until the cheese softens and place a 55 g slice on each plate. Place a panna cotta half-moon next to it and create a salad with 3 asparagus savings, 4 porcini shavings, 10 popped peas and 2 blue cheese shavings. Over each plate, drizzle 15ml sherry and truffle dressing and dust with porcini powder.