If you are looking for an easy dessert to put together for Memorial Day or 4th of July entertaining, this 4 ingredient recipe is all you need, with a little bit of advance planning. It’s a simple recipe and the ingredient quality is KEY!
I have had many different pannacottas and I’d never been that excited about them as a dessert, until I had one made by an Italian chef who was visiting Austin. His pannacotta blew me away, with its ethereal custardy mouthfeel and simple flavorings (just vanilla). I then went to Italy recently and again had some first class pannacotta in Cinque Terre, not to mention some stunning seafood preparations.
I re-created the recipe and just added some blueberries for a festive look. The original recipe came from TasteMotions, a cooking school in the Tuscany area, but I’ve adapted it to follow chronological sense and also more information about gelatin sheets. It’s certainly worth ordering or finding these sheets for this dessert, and they’ll last you for years in the pantry. I use the gelatin sheet brand called PerfectaGel from Modernist Pantry, 200Bloom. One package of 40 grams holds 20 sheets and doesn’t expire for 4 years! Very worth the cost in my opinion!
- 2 cups good quality heavy whipping cream
- 1 vanilla bean, cut in half, scraped
- 6 grams gelatin sheets, cut into thirds (see note below)
- 150 grams confectioners’ sugar, about 1 ¼ cups
- Berry Conserve:
- 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Put the scraped vanilla bean and its contents into the cream and whisk well. Turn off heat and let vanilla steep in the cream.
- Soak the gelatin sheets in a mixing bowl with about 3-4 cups of cold tap water.
- Meanwhile, make the berry conserve: Place berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender. Set aside for 15 minutes while you finish the panna cotta.
- Whisk confectioners sugar into saucepan with cream and vanilla. Bring cream to a gentle simmer again, but not boiling. When sugar is all dissolved, turn off heat.
- Squeeze the gelatin sheets by hand, trying to extract as much water as possible. Add the squeezed gelatin sheets to the warm cream and whisk well. You won’t notice any thickening right away.
- Strain the cream mixture into small ramekins or small glass bowls, filling 6 bowls evenly. Set the ramekins in the fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours, up to overnight.
- Blend the berries, lemon, and sugar in the blender at high speed until a puree is reached. Strain if necessary, but this step may not be needed for high speed blenders.
- When panna cottas are set and ready to serve, pour the berry conserve over each ramekin evenly. Top with fresh blueberries. Enjoy!