I always assumed making panna cotta was a very complicated undertaking. I’m not sure why I thought that… maybe it’s the fact that desserts served in their own individual ramekins just look ultra-fancy. Or maybe it’s the fact that if you don’t dissolve all your gelatin, your panna cotta will be more cold sludge soup than smooth, firmed pudding cup- it adds an element of danger when you know your dish can literally just fail. I reckon that’s why so many people are scared of attempting soufflés.
Trust me- this is 1,000 times easier than a soufflé.
In fact, if I drew a graph this dessert would be that magical sweet spot where EASY and IMPRESSIVE meet (Econ majors, you with me?)- the biggest reward for the least amount of effort.
This is especially handy if, say, if you volunteered yourself to cook a big Easter dinner for your in-laws.
The challenge: Cook for 6 people. Make something reasonably impressive (the ante is upped now that they know you run a food blog). Your sister is coming in to town so falling down a focused rabbit hole of cooking is not really an option. Your schedule on the day of the dinner is already pretty packed so you must prep as much as possible beforehand.
Enter panna cotta.
This recipe can be scaled up and down easily as needed for larger/smaller dinner parties. Everything can be made beforehand, which takes all the stress off of last minute cooking.
The candied lemon peels are not necessary but they do make a nice garnish and, stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag, they will keep for ages in your pantry. If you don’t feel like making them fresh berries would be equally lovely as a garnish!
|Lemon Panna Cotta with Candied Lemon Peel|| |
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 lemon, zested
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1.5 tsp powdered gelatin
- ¼ cup milk
- Candied Lemon Peels:
- 3 lemons
- 2 cups granulated sugar + more for dusting
- 2 cups water
- In a small saucepan combine heavy cream, sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
- Sprinkle in the powdered gelatin. When adding the gelatin, sprinkle it from a good height so that it spreads evenly oven the cream and doesn't clump into a big ball.
- Stir well until all the gelatin is dissolved- there should be no beads dotting the back of the spoon.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any clumps and lemon zest pieces.
- Stir in milk and then pour mixture into individual ramekins or small bowls. Gently place them in the fridge to set for at least an hour, up to 24 hours.
- For the candied lemon peels: Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer rind off the three lemons and then julienne each peel.
- In a small saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil, add the lemon peels and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees.
- Strain lemon peels and separate on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the peels with sugar so they are lightly coated and separated.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the peels are crunchy but not browned. Let cool and then break apart.