A lot of my friends take interest in what dessert I might order at dinner, as if having gone to pastry school has somehow elevated my taste. I’m not sure that it has . . . but I do tend to order things that I know I couldn’t make easily. Notwithstanding, one of my favorite desserts to order is panna cotta, which is actually a very simple dessert. It is an Italian custard, basically a “cooked cream” thickened with gelatin. There is something just so perfect about the velvety smooth, subtly sweet custard with a little bit of wobble. It is a great pairing with so many different flavors, whether fruity or spiced.
This version that I made recently for my own housewarming adds Greek yogurt to the mix, which perhaps makes it less of a true panna cotta, but is still easy and yummy. I added a graham cracker base for texture and flavor, and topped with a pear-apricot puree miroir and some pear compote.
- 250 mL heavy cream
- 40 g granulated sugar
- 2 sheets gelatin, bloomed (about half a packet of powdered gelatin)
- 175 g Greek yogurt
- ½ t vanilla extract (or vanilla paste, or a whole vanilla bean)
- Heat half of the cream and all of the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the bloomed gelatin.
- Whip the remaining cream lightly (no peaks should form).
- Combine the hot cream with the yogurt and stir with a spatula. Let cool.
- Add the lightly whipped cream to the mixture.
- Pour into molds and chill.
- Add optional flavoring on top (I mixed about equal parts Bosc apple puree with apricot nappage).
- Insert cute little spoon and enjoy!