With summer fruit being right at its peak here in Lebanon one of my favorite “easy to toss together” desserts that wow my guests and quell my need for rich and creamy sweetness is the quick and foolproof (and versatile) yet elegant pannacotta.
The first time I ever had this amazing creation was in a little cafe in Florence, Italy with a drizzling of a Frangelico laced chocolate sauce that would make you cry it was so good.
Nowadays, though I make it in the winter with dark chocolate sauce, my favorite way to dress it up is whatever fruit is in season. It is a great way to get all the health benefits of eating good quality saturated fat, sucrose, and gelatin in one delicious source.
Pannacotta has many other benefits including always being gluten-free, the ingredients being incredibly inexpensive, is egg-free and can be made with a non-dairy alternative, and can be tailored to your taste by flavoring it with various liqueurs and essences and even alternative sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, and even all fruit.
Although I thought of posting a step-by-step tutorial in how-to-make pannacotta, it really is very simple.
Here is my recipe::
*1 1/2 cups milk ( I use raw but you can use any grass-fed source)
*1/3 cup sugar (I used raspadura but you can use maple syrup, coconut sugar, or other sweetener)*
*2 1/4 tsp. gelatin (I use Great Lakes gelatin made from grass-fed cows)
*1 1/2 cups heavy cream
*1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean or flavoring of your choice
To make the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk in a small saucepan. Let sit for about 1 to 2 minutes until it “blooms” (the gelatin grains will swell and wrinkle and look like they’ve absorbed some liquid) Stir in the sugar and warm over medium low heat for one or two minutes or until sugar and gelatin dissolve being careful not to let it boil. There should be no grit left when mixture is rubbed between your fingers.
Whisk in the cream and any flavorings, like vanilla. Pour into 4 to 6 small dishes.