Monday March 20th marks the first day of spring and I love spring! With this day, we know that the crocuses and then the daisies are not far behind, and once the ground warms up I can plant seeds in my vegetable garden.
Each year I look forward to the little plants sprouting up – the salad greens, basil stalks, and that fabulous smell of rosemary. It’s exciting every time.
It will be a while until we have fresh berries – but with spring comes summer so I wanted to share a nice Panna Cotta recipe with Fresh Berries.
Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
Yield: Serves 6
This dessert might look fancy, but it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious!
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups cream
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 cup blackberries, gently washed and drained
- 1 cup raspberries, gently washed and drained
- 1 cup small strawberries, gently washed, drained, hulled, and halved or quartered
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar (optional)
Sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup cold water in a small bowl, and let it sit until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla bean over medium heat. Bring just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove it from the heat, and let it steep 5 minutes. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture, and discard the bean. Whisk the softened gelatin in until dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a spouted measuring cup, and let it cool to room temperature.
Pour the mixture into six 5-ounce or larger ramekins, and refrigerate until they are set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
About ½ hour before you are ready to serve, gently toss the berries together in a medium bowl. Taste a few berries. If they are too tart, sprinkle them with the superfine sugar and toss again. Let them sit at room temperature about ½ hour.
To serve: run a thin paring knife around the edge of each ramekin, and invert it on a serving plate. Tap the bottom of the ramekin to loosen the panna cotta. It should plop out when you lift the ramekin. If not, hold the ramekin firmly in place and shake the plate a few times to loosen the panna cotta. If one or two are really stuck, you can also dip the base of the ramekin in hot water for a few seconds to melt it a little before inverting. Serve the panna cotta topped with the mixed berries.