We do not eat dessert often in our house, but when we entertain I do like to end the meal with something light and sweet. One of my favorite desserts is Panna Cotta, which translated as “cooked cream”. It is simply a pudding or flan made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, then mixing this with gelatin, and refrigerating it until set. Though Panna Cotta is usually simply flavored with vanilla, I like to play around with other flavorings and toppings. For this version, I decided to combine lemon and blueberries which are always a tasty flavor combination. As well as lemon peel, I used some Fiori di Sicilia, a favorite extract combining vanilla and lemon that I buy at King Arthur Flour.
Deborah Mele 2013
- 1 Cup Whole Milk, Divided
- 2 Teaspoons Unflavored Gelatin
- 2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- Peel From 1 Lemon Removed With A Vegetable Peeler
- 1 Teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (Or 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Extract & 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract)
- 2 Cups Frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch, Mixed With 2 Tablespoons Cold Water
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
- Pour 1/2 cup of milk in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the milk.
- Let the gelatin soften for 15 minutes.
- In a heavy pot over medium heat, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, the cream, sugar, lemon peel, and extract.
- Heat until simmering, then remove from the heat and let the lemon peel steep in the cream for 15 minutes.
- Bring the cream mixture back to a simmer, then add the gelatin mixture and stir until it has dissolved.
- Strain the mixture, and pour into eight 1/2 cup glasses or ramekins.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours until set.
- To make the sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, sugar and lemon juice.
- Stir frequently, and bring to a low boil.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, then slowly stir the corn starch into the blueberries, taking care not to crush the blueberries.
- Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla and lemon zest, and set aside until needed.
- Serve the panna cotta with a heaping spoonful of blueberry sauce on top.