Last Saturday (the Mother’s Day Saturday) we had dinner at a beautiful Italian restaurant in Easton, PA. To honor the special day we ordered all the desserts on the menu, including Panna Cotta, an Italian custard that calls Tuscany its home. It was the first time my kids had tried Panna Cotta and they loved it! I had to promise I’d make some for them next weekend. Here’s my first go at it. I got the recipe for the Panna Cotta from David Lebovitz and for the raspberry sauce from here.
Calories (without sauce): 261 Servings: 8
Calories (with sauce): 357 Servings: 8
Ingredients (for 6 ramekins)
- 4 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half or some combination of the two)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 6 tablespoons cold water
For the sauce:
- 175 grams sugar (about 3/4 cup)
- 175 ml water (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon cherry liqueur ( I didn’t put any)
- 350 grams (2 boxes) raspberries
How to make: Put the heavy cream and the sugar in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and give it a stir. Oil six ramekins with canola or other vegetable oil. Mix the gelatin with the cold water in a bowl large enough to, later, add the custard. Let the gelatin stand in the water for 5-10 minutes. Pour the cream and sugar mix in the bowl with the gelatin and whisk until well blended (no beating). Pour the Panna Cotta in the ramekins and let them stand in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To remove the Panna Cotta from the ramekins, you’re supposed to use a knife to detach the Panna Cotta from the ramekins around the edges and then flip them over to serving dishes. Well, that part of the recipe was easier said than done, actually. See my notes below. Once you somehow have managed to flip them over, top them with the raspberry sauce and fresh berries. Now, to make the sauce, heat the water and sugar (and cherry liqueur if you use it). Bring to the boil and the reduce the heat and cook for a little longer until the sugar is dissolved. Add half the raspberries and blend the sauce until smooth. Then just stir in the remaining half. I didn’t do that because I prepared the sauce ahead of time and didn’t go the fruit to become too soft. Next time, I’ll try to remember to dip them in the sauce just before serving so they look more shiny.
Notes and tips: Removing the Panna Cotta from the ramekins was a challenge for me. The knife trick did not work at all. Next time I’ll try giving the Panna Cotta enough time to reach room temperature before flipping it over to serving dishes. This time the only thing that worked was dipping the ramekins in hot water. But even that was a challenge because if you dip too long the Panna Cotta starts melting. Until I figure out what the exact dipping time is for what temperature water, I think I’ll switch to pouring the custard in nice glass containers and leave enough room to add the sauce and berries on top. Finally, the sauce was too much for 6 ramekins. You can easily reduce it to half cup sugar/water and still have leftovers.