How to Make Italian Panna Cotta
For the Cherry Compote
- If you are using fresh cherries, wash and pit them and cut them in halves. And if using frozen, let them thaw, drain and cut them in halves.
- Add brandy, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a 2 quart sauce pan and whisk.
- Add the cherries to the mixture and bring to a boil over a medium flame. Stir occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- Dissolve cornstarch with 1 tsp. water in a small bowl and add to the cherry mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes. If the sauce get too thick, ass 1 tsp of at a time and reduce thickness to a compote consistency.
- Remove form flame and keep aside to cool.
For Panna Cotta
- Spray six 6 ounce ramekins with cooking spray and keep aside.
- Put half of the half-and-half in a saucepan and mix in gelatine powder and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Put the pan on low heat and stir in sugar whisking until gelatine and sugar dissolves i.e. about 2-3 minutes. (avoid simmering, if you see bubble remove pan from heat and let it cool)
- Remove pan from heat and mix in the remaining half-and-half, salt and vanilla extract.
- Pour the panna cotta liquid into the oiled ramekins equally and let them cool for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- Serve by inverting a ramekin on a plate and gently wiggling it to release the panna cotta.
- Pour the cherry compote on top and serve.
- Panna Cotta originated in Northern Italy and got its name there. The words Panna Cotta literally mean “cooked cream”.
- In the olden times when gelatine was not available in extracted, powder form; cooks used to make the panna cotta mixture by cooking cream with fish bones, which has collagen that sets the cream.