Panna Cotta… Ahhh… Panna Cotta. I’m not suggesting that it is holy, mind you. But I do thank God for this glorious dessert. Seriously, it may just be my downfall. Lightly sweet, vanilla scented, lemony, creamy (to the nth degree), tangy, rich, thick, luscious… and oh, so good!!! I mean, fuggedaboutit…
Like any custard, you will fall in love. But, panna cotta is far better than just any ole’ custard. It isn’t too sweet, which is what sets it apart from other custards. When you enjoy something rich, you really do not want it to be too sweet.
As an additional bonus, it is very easy to make!
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 c heavy cream
1 c milk
1/3 c sugar or honey
4 strips of lemon zest
1 vanilla bean
In a small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.
In a large saucepan bring cream, milk, lemon zest and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla bean. Strain out lemon zest. Divide cream mixture among eight 1/2-cup ramekins or any bowl and cool to room temperature. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.
I love to serve it with toasted nuts and a drizzle of honey or fruit or jam.