*Pardon the silence of late. We're still knee-deep in boxes and take-out. So close to rolling out of Chicago. Le sigh/exciting!
I'm becoming more and more convinced that panna cotta is the world's greatest dessert gift to entertainers. Luscious texture. Decadent creamy flavor. Advanced prep. Endless variety. Seriously? Does it get any better?
For my most recent baby shower, I opted to make a variation with bright fruit flavors for spring. Another reason to love it? You can haul these puppies from your house without a worry of spilling. Amazing!
The ingredients really are simple -- milk, sugar, cream, gelatin and flavorings. Perhaps it was because I was making a few other complex, ingredient-heavy desserts for the party, but the simplicity of this really spoke to me in preparing this. Sometimes the simplest things are most intriguing to our palettes; stripping away taste overload, honing our over-amused taste buds to pick out individual flavors.
Lemon zest is the star here. And don't be shy.... you really want the brightness to pop through in each creamy spoonful.
A quick bout on the stove brings together milk, cream, gelatin and sugar. Just until steaming.
Allow the cream to cool with the lemon zest, oozing and infusing flavors together.
Hold off on saucing these desserts until just before serving. This will also make transportation about a thousand times easier. For a pretty serving, line up the little soldiers in a rimmed tray.
Lemon Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce
Makes 24 individual servings
For panna cotta
6 cups cream
6 cups whole milk
1 oz unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
For blueberry sauce
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup water
Pour milk and cream into large pot and sprinkle gelatin. Turn heat on low and stir until gelatin dissolves completely. Add sugar; stir until dissolved and continue just until milk begins to steam. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before ladling into small cups. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the milk and smooth out wrinkles. Refrigerate overnight.
Combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and water in small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally while sauce reduces, about 15 minutes. Strain if you desire a smooth sauce. Allow sauce to cool completely.
Remove panna cotta from refrigerator 15-30 minutes before serving and top each serving with a spoonful of cooled sauce.