• Musk panna cotta tarts (Billie Justice Thomson)Source: Billie Justice Thomson

The lemon tart shells compliment the creamy and subtle musk taste of the panna cotta perfectly while the pomegranate molasses cuts through the sweetness and balances the dessert. #BringBackTheClassics






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)



  • 250 g plain flour, sifted
  • 50 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 125 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • splash of milk


  • 150 ml milk
  • 8 musk sticks
  • 375 ml thickened cream
  • 2 gold strength gelatine leaves
  • dried rose petal leaves and pomegranate molasses, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 2hrs or overnight

1. To make the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar on a clean work surface. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar between your fingers and thumb until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest, then add the egg and milk and work just until mixture comes together. Shape the mixture into a ball, lightly dust with flour, then flatten it into a disc. Cover the pastry in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

3. Roll out the chilled pastry between two sheets of baking paper until about 3 mm-thick. Use the pastry to line the base and sides of 12 x 9 cm fluted tart tins with removable bases, then trim the edges. Line the tart shells with baking paper and fill with baking weights or dried beans. Prick the bases with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Blind bake the pastry shells for 15 minutes.

4. Remove the pastry weights and paper, then bake for another 10 minutes or until the pastry is dry and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, place the milk in a saucepan over low heat until warm. Add the musk sticks and stir until completely dissolved.

6. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of iced water and stand for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the cream to the milk mixture and bring to simmer. Taste and add more musk sticks if required. Be careful to not overheat the cream mixture. Remove the gelatine from the water, squeeze out the excess water, then add to the cream mixture and stir until the gelatine dissolves.

7. Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and stand for 20 minutes, whisking regularly until slightly cool over the iced water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally.

8. Pour the mixture into the cooled tart tins and pour any left-over panna cotta into small glasses, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight if time permits.

9. To serve, sprinkle the tarts with dried rose petals and drizzle with a little pomegranate molasses.

• Dried rose petals and pomegranate molasses are available from the Middle Eastern section of large supermarkets or Middle Eastern grocers.


Lead illustration by Billie Justice Thomson.