Friday, December 16, 2011

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

I made a lot of this pumpkin panna cotta stuff a couple of days ago but I never got to post about it until now. I was on a small hiatus as I was a bit busy studying. I am back now though and ready to get some cooking done.

As always, don't let the name of this recipe fool you. It sounds fancy but you could actually call this "cream of pumpkin jello," if you wanted to. Really all were going to do here is cook some cream with pumpkin puree in it, add some gelatin and chill it. It's really that simple.

The recipe yields something of a new age pumpkin pie. The panna cotta has the flavor of pumpkin pie filling and the texture of a creamy custard. The best part of this recipe though is it's serving flexibility. You can use my recipe to make the 8 panna cotta that I did, or you can put it in small 3 oz bathroom cups to serve about 16 people as a small dessert bite in a cup.

I should note that no matter that you put it in, making a nice presentation can be difficult if you are not careful with the panna cotta. Try and use silicone muffin molds like I did, or something that makes it easy to coax the panna cotta out of the container. Otherwise, just let your diner scoop it from the cup or ramekin that you made it in.

The unflavored gelatin in this recipe may be found in your supermarket next to the other jello products. Make sure you look for it well, the will reserve very little space for this product. Also, please make sure that you let the gelatin sit and bloom on the milk for at least five minutes after you sprinkle it on the milk. This is an unskippable step.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta:
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 envelope gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Scant 1/4 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg

1. Add 3/4 cup of the milk to a large saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let this sit and bloom for at least 5 minutes.
2. While the gelatin blooms puree the rest of the ingredients, including the milk, in a blender until smooth and uniform.
3. Start to warm the milk over medium low heat and stir in the gelatin. Wait until you can see that the gelatin has dissolved, then add the contents of the blender to the pan. Stir this mixture until it is uniform in color.
4. Increase the heat to medium and keep stirring the cream until you have a very soft boil going and you can visibly see steam coming from the saucepan.
5. Remove the cream from the heat and lit it cool slightly for 5 minutes. While this cools, get 8 containers to cool the panna cotta in. I used silicone muffin molds. Evenly distribute the cream amongst the containers and put the m in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to chill and gelatinize.
6. To serve, carefully invert the mold on the diners plate to release the panna cotta. Serve with a side of whipped cream or crème fraîche.

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