So we opened a can of organic pumpkin puree to make our pumpkin crème brûlée last week, but we didn’t finish it off, so we made orange-pumpkin spiced macarons, and still hadn’t finished the pumpkin. So to finish it off we created this slightly wacky panna cotta. Panna cotta means cooked cream in Italian and is historically from the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s a super smooth, creamy eggless custard that is super easy to make and is great with fresh fruit, or in this case pumpkin and caramelized pears.
Pumpkin Panna Cotta Recipe
4 oz. plain goat cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ cups half and half (heavy cream or even milk, you can make this as full fat as you want)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 packet gelatin (1/4 oz)
1. To soften gelatin add it to 1/3 cup milk and stir gently. Let sit while you prepare rest of the panna cotta mixture.
2. In a sauce pan combine goat cheese, pumpkin, half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to a quick simmer.
3. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture. Whisk briskly to make sure everything is blended well. We used the whisk attachment that came with our Cuisinart hand blender’s whisk attachment and the cream turned out super smooth.
4. Divide into 4 lightly greased ramekins and refrigerate for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Caramelized Pears Recipe
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Peel pears, quarter and core them; then dice into small cubes (1/4 in. or smaller).
2. In a small frying pan melt the butter until frothy then add pears, sugar and cinnamon. Over medium heat continue stirring until pears are tender and golden.
3. Remove from heat and set aside till ready to use.
1. Remove the panna cotta from the ramekin by boiling an inch and a half of water (enough to cover atleast ½ of the ramekin). Remove the pan from the heat and dip one ramekin at a time in the water for about 45 seconds. Then take a butter knife and run it around the inside edge of the ramekin. Take your ramekin and place it upside down on a pretty plate, tap each side of the ramekin a few times to loosen the panna cotta from the ramekin. This takes practice, but the presentation is way prettier than serving it in a ramekin….unless of course you have beautiful ramekins.
2. Once you’ve successfully removed the panna cotta, dress it up with a spoonful or two of caramelized pears and a dollop of homemade whip cream.
3. Serve with a whiskey or rum spiked hot apple cider or strong french pressed coffeecoffee for an ultimate fall treat.