Believe it or not, this is my first time making panna cotta. I had been tempted last summer, when it seemed every food blogger was making it. But when my neighbor gave me an unusual recipe, I knew I had to try it.
Although Regina is Swiss-born, she lived in Italy for years, so I assume she knows real panna cotta. I love her New England take on this - made with maple syrup. I used three different toppings that seem to reflect February in New Hampshire - wild honey, a peach confit my sister made, and a pear and ginger marmalade. You can, of course, use fresh berries as well.
The preparation is easy - Regina says she often makes this for parties of 50 or 60 in under an hour. This recipe made 4 large servings, using 1 cup measures.
You will need:
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 T. cold water
1 packet powdered gelatin
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/8 t. salt
Place cream, maple syrup and salt in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat.
Place the cold water in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let sit 5 minutes.
Mix the gelatin into the warmed cream mixture, stirring well.
Stir in the buttermilk and salt, stirring well.
Ladle into glasses, plastic dessert cups, or ramekins.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 3 hours.
To unmold, run a knife tip around the edges of the cup, and dip the lower part of the ramekin into warm water for a minute or so. Unmold onto plate and serve with fresh berries or honey or confit of your choice.