When we were in Montana, oh, back in December, my brother decided we needed to make a panna cotta for dessert on Christmas Eve. I think it was one of two or three other desserts. For six people and a toddler. But, far be it for me to EVER stand in-between a family member and pudding. There has been violence.
From the get-go we decided we didn’t want to un-mold the limber treat and so my brother added a ribbon of melted ganache to each pretty glass.
I’m not sure if it was the elevation, but while the panna cotta eventually found the lovely silky and slightly firm consistency that makes it so delectable, it took at least 12 hours to set in the fridge. Maybe we should have just put it out in the snow to firm-up.
Obviously I’ve been hoarding this recipe for several months, though without intention. Sometimes my reliance on spreadsheets and lists gets in the way of actually thinking. Somewhere along the way a cut-and-paste error dropped this treat off my editorial schedule and it wasn’t until I found the pictures that I recovered this little corner of paradise lost.
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It was Christmas Eve, I’m sure John Denver and the Muppets were involved.
Orange Panna Cotta
adapted from Gale Gand via www.foodnetwork.com
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 cups heavy cream, or a combination of cream with milk or buttermilk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 wide strips fresh orange peel (orange part only-no white pith)
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let soak 10 minutes (do not stir).
- Meanwhile, heat the cream, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it simmers, turn off the heat and add the gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. (If the gelatin doesn’t completely dissolve in 3 minutes, return to the heat and warm gently until dissolved.)
- Strain the mixture into a pitcher to remove the vanilla bean and orange rind. Pour the mixture into 6 to 8 ramekins or dessert cups, or into 1 larger dish. Chill, uncovered, at least 3 hours (or maybe a good 24 hours in our case).
- To unmold, dip the cups in hot water for 10 seconds, then turn the panna cottas out onto dessert plates (or, simply serve in the cups or by the spoonful). Shave some chocolate curls onto the top of the panna cottas and serve with the orange supremes.