Cinnamon Panna Cotta With Spiced Pears


When we entertain, I tend to plan a multi-course menus that highlights local seasonal produce and regional specialties. By the time we get to the dessert course however, everyone is quite satiated and often no one has much room for dessert. I love panna cotta because it is very light and it is a perfect ending for my meals when we entertain. It can also be completely assembled ahead of time and simply served when needed leaving you free for other course. You can create panna cotta with so many different ingredients that you will never tire of it, and it can also be flavored with seasonal ingredients like my Pumpkin Pannacotta, or this Cinnamon Panna Cotta With Spiced Pears In Red Wine. You really do need vanilla beans to obtain the full flavor of this sweet for the best results, and when choosing pears, choose pears that are still fairly firm as over ripe pears will fall apart when being poached in the red wine.

You can create this recipe two different ways depending on your preference. You could set the panna cotta in individual ramekins and then turn them out onto a plate to serve, or in individual glasses as I show in the photo. If I am using the ramekin version, I’d leave the pears in larger pieces, and simply spoon them onto the plate beside the panna cotta rather than dice them and place them on top as I’ve shown.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Cinnamon Panna Cotta With Spiced Pears

The perfect light dessert for fall.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, Split
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 (5 g) Sheets Gelatin

For The Pears:

  • 2 Cups Full Body Red Wine
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, Split
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 (1 inch) Strip Orange Rind
  • 3 Firm Pears

Directions:

  1. For the pannacotta, heat the cream and milk in a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
  4. Let steep for 20 minutes.
  5. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water until soft.
  6. Squeeze the sheets to remove excess water and add them to the cream mixture and stir until completely dissolved.
  7. Pour into 4 (150 ml containers – see note above).
  8. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  9. For the pears, place the wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and orange rind and bring to a boil.
  10. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  11. Peel, core and dice the pears and place in the pot with the wine.
  12. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the pear is tender.
  13. Cool.
  14. To serve, spoon some of the pear mixture onto each cup.