Tuesday, July 3, 2012

28 by 28: Panna Cotta

I included Panna Cotta on my 28 by 28 list because I thought it looked intriguing.  I had never actually tried it before, so I was a little concerned that it would come out tasting like cream-flavored Jell-o.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case!  It's basically an eggless custard that is so smooth, rich, and creamy you won't be able to get enough of it. 

With such a simple ingredient list, it's important to be mindful of freshness and quality.  According to Mark Bittman, you can freeze the leftovers and thaw them for 20 minutes before serving for more of a Philadelphia-style ice cream consistency and flavor.

And don't sweat if you don't have custard cups- I used a muffin tin.  : )

From Mark Bittman, via the New York Times


3 cups cream, or 1 1/2 cups cream and 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or to taste) or 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar

1. Pour 1 cup cream in a medium saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over it; let sit for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring, until gelatin dissolves completely.

2. If using vanilla extract, add remaining cream and sugar to gelatin mixture and heat gently, just until sugar dissolves; add vanilla and proceed to Step 3. If using vanilla bean, cut it in two, lengthwise. Scrape out seeds; add seeds and bean pod to pot, along with the sugar and remaining cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until steam arises. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep for 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Remove vanilla bean, if you used it. Pour mixture into 4 large or 6 small custard cups. Chill until set, about 4 hours. Serve in cups, or dip cups in hot water for about 10 seconds, then invert onto plates. Serve within 24 hours.

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