Serve a traditional Italian dessert to finish off a hearty meal of pasta and garlic bread.
1 1/4 pounds strawberries, hulled, quartered
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 envelope (1/4 oz.) unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sliced almonds
How to Make It
Make panna cotta: In a medium skillet off the heat, toss strawberries with sugar, salt and vanilla. Let stand for 10 minutes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, stir gelatin with 4 tsp. cold water; let stand until gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat; whisk in gelatin until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup of puree and buttermilk.
Place 6 8-oz. ramekins on a baking sheet and pour 1/2 cup of panna cotta mixture into each. Refrigerate until center is set, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Make crumble: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together flour, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and almonds until well combined. Break dough into clumps and place on baking sheet; bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Break up into large crumbs.
Leave panna cotta in ramekins or unmold. Stir 2 Tbsp. of warm water into remaining strawberry puree to form a sauce. Spoon 1 Tbsp. of sauce over each panna cotta, and top with cookie crumble. Serve.
The wonderful thing about panna cotta is that it is not too sweet. This recipe added fruit into the custard itself, which added just the right amount of sweetness. It is easy to do (which surprised me- I always thought it would require some kind of production to prepare), used up some buttermilk, and makes a very pretty presentation. I think next time I will cut the amount of salt or leave it out altogether, at least from the sauce part. The cookie crumbles were good, but not necessary. I thought it was better dressed with the strawberry sauce, some sliced strawberries and a sprig of mint. Delicious, company worthy and lovely.
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