Buttermilk Panna Cotta
Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly
Panna cotta is Italian for cooked cream and, while, this dessert is a bit rich, the buttermilk and crème fraîche add nice tang to the custard. Strawberry and rhubarb jelly is simple to make and provides tart contrast. Though not complicated, the recipe does take some time to put together, which makes it a perfect prepare-ahead dessert--great for entertaining. And if you compose them in cute little mason jars like these, they can be sealed to keep well in your fridge for a few days.
Knox powdered gelatin is the key ingredient here--it's available in the bakery aisle of your market. One envelope will be enough for both parts of this recipe. Sprinkle 1 1/4 teaspoons gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl. Let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine cream, sugar and kosher salt. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using the edge of a knife. Add seeds and split bean to the pan.
Gently bring the cream mixture to a simmer, then stir in the softened gelatin until it is dissolved. Turn off the heat and let mixture cool.
Remove the split vanilla bean and whisk buttermilk and crème fraîche into the cream. Use a ladle to distribute the Panna Cotta into mason jars or dessert glasses--about 1/2 cup in each. Cover and place in the refrigerator to set, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the strawberries and 2 1/2 cups of the thinly sliced rhubarb; toss with sugar.
Securely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place over a pan of simmering water and steam, without stirring, for about 45 minutes, until fruit is pale and soft.
Pour the fruit mixture into a fine strainer set over a measuring cup. Let the juices drain through naturally--don't press on the solids or the jelly will be cloudy. If necessary, add water to the liquid until it measures 1 cup.
In a small bowl, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water; soften for 10 minutes. Pour the strawberry rhubarb juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add the other 1/2 cup of thinly sliced rhubarb and cook until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the softened gelatin into the jelly and stir until dissolved.
Place mixture in a small bowl to cool. If you want to speed this step up, place that bowl carefully on top of a larger bowl of ice water and stir occasionally. When completely cool, top each Panna Cotta with the jelly, dividing evenly.
Place back in the refrigerator to set, about 2 to 4 hours, and up to 3 days. Unscrew and enjoy!
Makes 8 Servings:
8 6-8 ounce mason jars or dessert glasses
Buttermilk Panna Cotta:
1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup crème fraîche
Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly:
1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 pound rhubarb, thinly sliced (about 3 cups), divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water