BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The original panna cotta came from the Italians. This “egg-less” custard is a refreshing dessert for warm spring days. The custard is especially good when topped with fresh strawberry sauce and a sprig of mint.
Prep Time: 7 hours
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients for Panna Cotta:
5 tbsps fresh lemon juice
2 tbsps grated lemon zest
1 (12-ounce) package Creole cream cheese
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3½ tsps unflavored gelatin
½ cup sugar
Method for Panna Cotta:
Lightly grease 6 (1-cup) ramekins or custard cups.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix milk and whipping cream over medium-high heat. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean then add scrapings and bean to pot. Bring to simmer then remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and discard.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes or until gelatin softens.
Return saucepan to low heat and stir in gelatin and sugar. Cook 2 minutes or until just dissolved. Remove from heat.
Whisk in Creole cream cheese and lemon zest. Divide custard evenly among ramekins. Cover and chill 6 hours or until set, preferably overnight.
Ingredients for Ponchatoula Strawberry Sauce:
3 cups Louisiana strawberries, stemmed and sliced
2 tbsps dark brown sugar
3 tbsps strawberry wine
whole Louisiana strawberries for garnish
mint leaves for garnish
Method for Ponchatoula Strawberry Sauce:
In a blender, combine sliced strawberries, brown sugar, and wine. Mix until smooth. Add more brown sugar if necessary to achieve desired sweetness.
To serve panna cotta, run a small knife around edge of each ramekin. One at a time, place bottoms of ramekins in a small bowl of hot water for 45 seconds.
Invert each panna cotta onto a plate or shallow bowl and surround with strawberry sauce. Garnish with whole strawberries and a sprig of mint.