Vanilla bean panna cotta

December 16, 2009

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Vanilla bean panna cotta

Serves 10

3 cups half-and-half
1 cup creme fraiche
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin, softened in 2 tablespoons cold water
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blackberries
Fresh mint (for garnish, optional)
1. Have on hand 10 ramekins ( 1/2 cup capacity each). In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the half-and-half, creme fraiche, vanilla bean, sugar, and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Do not let the mixture come to a boil.

2. Add the gelatin mixture and stir well. Remove from heat.

3. Remove vanilla bean. Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the half-and-half mixture. Return vanilla bean to the pot. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

4. Ladle the mixture into the ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

5. To serve, invert each ramekin over a dessert plate and wiggle the ramekin to unmold. Garnish with berries and fresh mint, if using. Adapted from “A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes’’