True confession, I am not the best dessert maker. I have a few favorite recipes that I make over and over with a change here and there. The best part is that none are difficult to prepare, and always they are a hit.
Panna cotta is one that tops the list of favorites. It is basically heavy cream mixed with sugar, gelatin and vanilla. It can be served plain with a cookie or topped with a spoonful of marmalade or fruit.
Served in a pretty container, panna cotta can’t be beat for a dessert that is not too heavy and goes with any meal.
Thinking to change the presentation up a bit, I experimented with putting it in a shortbread crust. The dough was patted into an oblong tart pan with a removable bottom and baked until it was nice and brown. When done, the crust was put into the freezer for an hour or so. The thought was to have it be firm enough not to allow the panna cotta liquid to seep through.
The outcome was perfect. The crust sliced perfectly and the panna cotta had set just as it should. At serving time, the slices were topped with seasonal fruit that had been marinated in San Germain and strawberry jelly.
There’s nothing to the recipe so do give it a try.
For the shortbread crust: 1/2 c. butter, softened, 1 c. flour, 3/4 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/3 c. chopped pecans. Mix dry ingredients and pecans together and cut in butter until the mixture is coarse. Pat the mixture into the bottom of the tart pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until browned. When it has cooled a bit, place the crust in the freezer for about an hour. Place the frozen crust on a cookie sheet and pour the panna cotta mixture into it and refrigerate at least 3 hours. (There may be some extra panna cotta that can be put in a ramekin for a next day treat!)
For the panna cotta: sprinkle a packet of gelatin over 3 T. of cold water. Mix 2 c. of heavy cream with 1/3 c. of sugar. Warm over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla and gelatin.
At serving time top with seasonal fruit that has been marinated with 1/4 c. fruity liquer mixed with 1/4 c. of a complementary jam or jelly that has been melted. If you don’t want to use the liquer, mix the fruit with a little sugar or with the melted jelly.
All that’s left to do is enjoy!