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Simple Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries




I used to make Panna Cotta sometimes for Luncheons and Dinner Parties when I worked at the Manor down South but it has always been a dessert I shied away from making here at home.  I'm not really sure why.  Its not really a difficult dessert to make actually, but I used to always hold my breath when I unmolded the dishes . . . I would make extra just in case . . .  nothing would be worse than having one stick to the dish or break when unmolding.  Not something you really want at a social function. I guess it was always accompanied with nervous anticipation for me, which had more to do with the presentation than the actual creation of it.


The idea of actually serving it in simple drinking or pretty glasses had never occurred to me, and I seriously doubt that my boss would have agreed with that idea anyways.  If something was simple to her, then it probably wasn't good enough.  She wanted complicated, difficult and "pushing out the boat" dishes for all the courses being served, which certainly was instrumental in affording me with the opportunity to stretch beyond what I ever thought myself capable of!  In that respect, the experience was really good.  I never had a failure, whew!!!   


The down side of it all was that, after all that complication at work, I opted for simple at home.  I did not want drama at home. That was my time for relaxing, and I have to confess I still feel the same.  There is nothing like having to pull out the stops for five or six silver service courses (and all on your own wit no sous chef's etc. to help out)  to cure you of ever wanting that in your life.


So essentially I had never made Panna Cotta for us here at home . . .  until this weekend, when it dawned on me that I could just pour it into a small and pretty glass and leave it there, garnishing it with some lovely berries.  DUH!  Why had I never thought of this before!!


This is the perfect light dessert . . .  for when you are entertaining or even when you are not entertaining.  It is as simple as heating milk and cream with some sugar (not much) and flavouring, adding some gelatin and pouring it into glasses.  Set in the fridge for a few hours  and BANG!  Dessert is ready.


Simple, creamy, light and DEE-licious!


I chose to top it with a simple mix of berries that I macerated with some lime zest and a bit of sugar.


You could also use honey . . . liquid honey. I used a mix of fresh Scottish raspberries and strawberries, and what was left of the blueberries in our garden.


They went beautifully.  Diced peaches along with a splash of an amond liqueur and some chopped toasted almonds . . .  poached apple slices with some cinnamon and nutmeg . . .


Sauteed cinnamon bananas, pineapple and coconut . . . let your imagination flow!


*Simple Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries*
Makes 8 to 10 small servings

Simple and creamy.  Delicious served with lime marinated berries. 


For the Panna Cotta:
600ml pouring (single) cream (2 1/2 cups)
200ml full cream milk (7 1/4 fluid ounces)
3 TBS caster sugar
4 gelatin leaves (1 TBS powdered gelatin)
1 - 2 tsp pure vanilla or vanilla paste

for the berries:
400g strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (1 pound)
2 TBS caster sugar
the finely grated zest of 1/2 - 1 lime 





Put the gelatin leaves/powder into cold water to soak.  Measure the cream and milk into a saucepan.  Add the sugar.  Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, without boiling.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the soaked gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved.Stir in the vanilla and then strain into a jug. Let cool for 10 minutes.  Stir gently and then divide the mixture between 8 to 10 small glasses.  Place them on a tray and place the tray into the refrigerator to set.

Hull and slice the strawberries.  Mix together in a bowl with the raspberries, blueberries, sugar and lime zest.  Let stand for half an hour before using. Put a small spoonful on top of each panna cotta to serve.


If you are looking for a really simple dessert for Sunday Lunch that doesn't take much effort and very little time to set up (mine was set in about 2 hours) you really can't go wrong with this!  Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I tell you what, its very nice! I think working at the Manor cured me for ever wanting complicated in my life! xo

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  2. The drinking glasses make all the sense in the world. It's just as pretty and probably a lot easier for everyone!

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    Replies
    1. They are just tiny little juice glasses Jeanie, the perfect size! I hope you will try it! xo

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