On our recent trip to Puglia, I’d have to say that our most memorable meal was in Otranto where we ate at L’Altro Baffo, a small seafood restaurant with a unique, contemporary menu. Although I was completely stuffed when dessert was suggested and planned to decline the very idea of eating anything else, when I heard almond panna cotta was on the menu, I was tempted to give it a try. I love a well made panna cotta and this one was perfection. Smooth & creamy with just the right wobble, it had a delicious almond flavor. It was served with a separate little cup of fresh strawberry coulis to pour on top and it was a delicious, light dessert that I knew I had to replicate at home. I had bags of wild blackberries in the freezer that I needed to use up, so I used them in place of the strawberry sauce. To replicate the almond flavor, I used both toasted almonds as well as some pure almond extract.
Here in Italy we use gelatin sheets or leaves, not powdered gelatin which I prefer, but if you need to substitute powdered gelatin use the equation below.
Substitution: 4 sheets leaf gelatin = 1 (.25 oz) envelope granulated gelatin = 1 tablespoon granulated gelatin
Deborah Mele 2012
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 2 Cups Milk
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Toasted Chopped Almonds
- 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
- 4 Gelatin Sheets
- 1 1/2 Cups Berries Of Choice
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- Toasted Sliced Almonds
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the berries, sugar and lemon and cook over medium low heat until thickened, stirring often.
- Push the berries through a strainer to remove the seeds and set the syrup aside until needed.
- Heat the cream, milk, sugar, and almonds until steaming, then reduce the heat to very low and let steep 15 minutes.
- Strain the milk mixture and return to the pot and keep warm.
- Taste, and add enough almond extract to get a full almond flavor.
- Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out the water and add to the pot.
- Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour the panna cotta into 6 ramekins or small glasses and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- To serve, if using ramekins, un-mold onto plates and drizzle with the syrup.
- If using small glasses, simply pour a little of the syrup into each glass and serve.