Saturday, May 7, 2011
Ah strawberries - my absolute favorite thing about spring. As a kid, there was nothing I loved more about spring than strawberry picking with my mom. Right now, I have plans for two types of strawberry souffles (frozen and regular), and plenty of other uses for these fabulous sweet spring berries. This time of year, just about everything goes better with strawberries. Click here for my strawberry rhubarb pie. Panna cotta is an easy dessert that is wonderful with a multitude of berries. I decided to make some plain vanilla panna cottas and serve them with local fresh strawberries, and the dessert was perfect. Some might prefer to soak the strawberries, say in sugar or amaretto, but I prefer to just use the natural essence of the berries and keep the sugar down a bit, thus I simply sliced them up and served them with the panna cotta.
Sasha's Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries (makes 4)
1 pint of fresh, local strawberries
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 small packets of instant gelatin
2 cups of organic heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup cold water
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Simmer ver low heat for about five minutes to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the gelatin and the cold water. Then add the hot water until all of the granules of gelatin are dissolved. Mix the gelatin-water mixture into the cream, and divide among four ramekins. Refrigerate for about eight hours.
To serve, cut around the edge of the ramekin with a knife and carefully remove from a ramekin. This takes a bit of extra work to get it out without destroying it in the process. Serve with fresh, local strawberries.