Raspberry Buttermilk Panna Cotta

DSC_0704Let’s be straight up about panna cotta. When I serve it to people, and they ask me what it is, I don’t know what to say other than “milk jello,” which sounds disgusting. Then I have to assure them that it’s actually really good, and not like what you’d expect from milk jello at all. In reality, panna cotta is a mild, only slightly sweet, summery dessert. I’ve made panna cotta before, but this is the first time that I’ve been really satisfied with the texture and taste. Not too jelled, sweet without overpowering the subtle tang from the buttermilk. This time around, it was perfect.

DSC_0699This is the kind of dessert that doesn’t require the oven being turned on, and can be made as many as three days in advance. It would be the perfect dessert for a barbeque. I’m slowly developing the menu for the ideal summer backyard party–and it includes these homemade hot dog buns, these burgers, this panna cotta, and a bunch of big, dry rosés. You’re invited. Don’t worry.

DSC_0692I think that you could do any summery fruit in this panna cotta. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches. They’d all be good. Raspberries work particularly well–I think because they’re tender and delicate like the panna cotta itself. But if you have a bunch of fresh peaches, that’s your game. Go with it.

DSC_0715Here’s the recipe:

Raspberry Buttermilk Panna Cotta
(yields 6 ramekins, 6oz each)

1 pint raspberries, washed
1 1/2 buttermilk, shaken well
2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1/4 c sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 c half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 t black pepper
pinch koster salt

Find six glasses that can each hold 6 ounces of liquid. In the cups, evenly divide the raspberries. Then, chill the glasses. (I like to put mine on a cookie sheet for easy transportation.)

Put 1/2 cup of the buttermilk into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Then, over medium low heat, stir in the sugar and stir until both the gelatin and sugar are dissolved. When everything is dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the remaining buttermilk, the half and half, the vanilla, salt, and black pepper.

Pour the mixture into the chilled glasses, over the raspberries. Make sure it’s mostly even. Cover each glass (I like to use jars so that they have lids) and chill them for a minimum of 2 hours and up to three days. Serve cold, with a spoon!






Raspberry Peach Potstickers with a Balsamic Reduction

You know about potstickers with your Chinese takeout. Maybe they’re pork ones, or veggie ones. But have you ever had dessert potstickers? These peach raspberry potstickers might be the best thing I’ve ever thought of. Wonton wrappers belong in dessert. You might not know it right now, but it’s true.

You’ll need peaches and raspberries, obviously. I only used a half of a peach and a handful of raspberries. Each potsticker doesn’t require much filling. You’ll also need wonton wrappers, honey, lemon zest, sugar, and water.

Wonton wrappers are in a weird place in the grocery store… usually with the bagged lettuce. I think it’s because they have to be cold but not frozen and they aren’t dairy things. Anyway, be prepared to search. Just a heads up. Let’s talk folding technique.

There are a TON of ways to fold these things, so really, just do your thing. If you want to do it this way, you’ll want to put a blob in one corner, but not too close to the edges. Using a pastry brush, put some water on the edges of the half of the wonton wrapper with the filling, then fold it over. Last, bring up the two corners and stick them together with another drop of water.

See! They make the cutest little pockets.

Here’s the recipe:

half of a peach, peeled and diced

a handful of raspberries

1 T to 1/4 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet your fruit is)

1 T honey

zest of half a lemon

Put everything in a bowl and squish it. Really well. Then, put the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Try to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Now that the mixture isn’t so wet, put in back in a bowl and start making your little pockets. When you’re done, heat 2 teaspoons of  coconut oil in a skillet until it’s shiny. Drop the potstickers in the oil and put a lid on them. Leave them alone for 4-5 minutes. Take them off the heat and use a spatula to scrape them off the bottom of the pan. If they stick, don’t worry–they’re potstickers! Just try to get them out in one piece.

For the balsamic reduction:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 T honey

2 t sugar (or brown sugar)

In a small pot, bring the vinegar to a boil. Then, pour in the sugar and honey and let it simmer until about 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated. Take it off the heat and let it cool. When it’s done, it’ll be a little thinner than syrup.

Serve potstickers warm and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top. If you don’t want to cook all the potstickers at once, they freeze really well. Just spread them out on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer until they’re solid, then throw them in a bag. Just defrost them before you throw them in a pan. If you made your potstickers like mine, they look really neat in rows.