The sign of a successful first attempt:I was infected with panna cotta madness after our fancy, date-night dinner at Spotted Pig last weekend. OeMmmGeeee that place is good. I did a little internet sleuthing and discovered how entirely simple this is to make yourself (and how it will be a great vehicle for my rhubarb sage preserves!)
Here’s David Lebovitz’s recipe, infused with a few practical suggestions:
1. Half the recipe, to see how it works for you. No need to go whole hog (8 servings!) until you get the method right. [Proportions/quantities below are already halved]
2. In a medium mixing bowl (one with a pour spout is best, if you’ve got it) add:
3 Tbs cold water
and then drizzle on top of the water:
1 packet of unflavored gelatin (A box comes with 4 individual packets) and let sit for 5-10 min.
3. Meanwhile, heat in a medium saucepan over med-low heat:
2 cups heavy cream (or half & half), mine said “heavy whipping cream”, which is fine to use, too.
1/4 cup sugar
Use a firm rubber spatula to determine whether or not sugar has dissolved. If you can still feel granules, then keep stirring. (takes a few minutes)
4. Remove saucepan from heat and add:
1 tsp vanilla extract
5. Grease 4 to 6 (depending on your preferred serving size) teacups, ramekins, quarter pint canning jars or any small cup with a brushing good coating of vegetable or canola oil. If you plan to eat the panna cotta right out of the cup/bowl, then don’t bother with oiling. The oil is just for unmolding purposes.6. Pour still warm sugar, cream, vanilla mixture into gelatin bowl and stir until all gelatin chunks are completely dissolved. Pour into your prepared cups/bowls and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, 4 is better. These’ll keep up to two days in the fridge, if by chance you had foresight to make these in advance.Most exciting thing about first time panna cotta: the perfect opportunity to jar it for stylish travel!
I brought the plastic and paper cups of rhubarb sage panna cotta to my workshop kiddos on Wednesday, and of the 6 of 7 attendees who tried it all licked their chops in delight! None of them had ever heard of or tried either rhubarb or panna cotta before, which launched a discussion about types of desserts and Italian traditions.
Best part: watching elementary-aged kids (supposedly picky eaters) smile over my homemade treat. [sniff, sniff]