Friday, November 14, 2008

Lemon Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce


1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream (this can be reduced to 1/2 cup, if so, increase whole milk to 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (I sometimes use 1 t vanilla extract if I don't have vanilla beans on hand)
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar (sometimes I use a bit less if my topping is sweet)
1 cup crème fraîche*(A cheaper option is 1/2 sour cream & 1/2 plain yogurt)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 c frozen berries (about 12 ounces), thawed, drained, juices reserved
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix milk and cream in saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Cover; let steep (cover) 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.

Pour lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. Stir sugar and gelatin mixture into milk mixture. Stir over low heat until sugar and gelatin dissolves. Remove immediately from heat. Whisk in crème fraîche mixture and lemon peel. Divide among ramekins. Cover; chill until set. It typically needs at least 5 hours to set.

Puree berries (reserving a few for garnish) and all reserved juices and sugar in blender. Strain mixture into medium bowl, pressing to get out all of the juices . Discard solids in strainer. Stir remaining berries into sauce. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving time.

Run small knife around panna cotta. Place bottoms of ramekins in bowl of hot water briefly to loosen them. Place plate atop ramekin. Hold plate and ramekin together and flip gently to removed panna cotta. Serve with sauce.

Makes 6 large servings.

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