An Italian Classic - Panna Cotta

    Cortney Schields, Food Service Director for USD 435, brought dishes of Panna Cotta to a recent gathering of the school’s support staff. Topping the creamy custard was a homemade raspberry sauce along with fresh raspberries. Her dessert was a BIG hit and I literally had to force myself to not go back for seconds.
     The recipe comes from Cortney’s aunt, Jill Deeds, who lives in Goodland. According to Cortney, she makes it for family gatherings and everyone looks forward to this light (in terms of taste and feel) but rich (full of cream) dessert.
     Panna Cotta, which means "cooked cream," is a classic Italian dessert. It can be made the night before and is quite versatile. Portion it, as Cortney did, into individual serving dishes or pour the finished custard into a bowl (it can be served in the bowl or unmolded). Top it with other fruit sauces (even chocolate) or serve with assorted berries or other fruits.

Panna Cotta 
Cortney's dishes of Panna Cotta went fast
at a recent gathering.
1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin*
2 tablespoons cold water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup granulated sugar, or more to taste
Pinch of salt
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1 cup (8 oz. container) sour cream

1.  Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water and let stand for 5 minutes.
2.  In a saucepan, warm the cream with the sugar, salt, and vanilla over medium-high heat. Do not let it boil.
3.  Stir gelatin into the warm cream until thoroughly dissolved. Take the cream off the heat and cool about 5 minutes. 
4.  Put the sour cream in a medium bowl. Gently whisk in the warm cream a little at a time until smooth.
5.  Rinse 8 (2/3 cup) ramekins, custard cups, or coffee cups with cold water. Fill each one 3/4 full with the cream. Chill at least 4-6 hours (more preferably). 

Also have my eye on a recipe for Chocolate Panna Cotta on The Food Channel's® website.

For more info. on unflavored gelatin click on

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