Food & Drink

Recipe Mailbox: Panna cotta

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Panna cotta

Prep time: 20 minutes Chill time: 4 hours to overnight Serves 6

Karen Austin of Grass Valley was looking for an easy, elegant dessert to serve company.

I have served this easy, do-ahead Italian dessert for years to rave reviews. It’s especially nice to serve during the hot, summer months.

A tip: Spray mold(s) with nonstick cooking spray before pouring mixture into mold to aid the unmolding process. After dessert is completely chilled, flip mold unto plate and hold a dishtowel that has been soaked in hot water and wrung out on top of mold for a few seconds to help loosen dessert onto plate.

If you don’t want to deal with molds and unmolding the dessert, just pour mixture into wine glasses or goblets, top with fresh fruit and serve.

¾ cup sugar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

½ cup water

1 cup whipping cream or half and half

1 ½ cups sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and gelatin. Add water and mix well. Let stand 5 minutes. Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour in whipping cream or half and half.

In a bowl, mix sour cream and vanilla. Gradually beat hot sugar mixture into the sour cream mixture until completely smooth. Pour into decorative mold or individual molds. Chill until set, 4 hours to overnight. Unmold and serve with fresh fruit.