Easy, inexpensive and eye-catching holiday dessert. Classic panna cotta topped with slices of peaches arranged in a burst pattern. Gorgeous. Delicious.
Panna cotta is an Italian creamy pudding made by cooking cream, sugar and gelatin, letting the mixture cool until firm, then serving it plain or topped with fruits or nuts, or even drizzled with syrup. Unlike a gelatin pudding, there is more liquid and less gelatin in panna cotta to achieve that soft and creamy texture. But that, of course, is not a hard and fast rule. Use the proportion that will yield a texture that you like best.
Although the Italian name may sound intimidating, panna cotta is really simple to make. It is also a very inexpensive dessert. And yet, you can prepare it in such a way that it looks really sophisticated.
Holiday perfect dessert: panna cotta with peaches
- Arrange the peach slices at the bottom of single-serve molds. How you arrange them is up to you; I chose a burst pattern.
- Make the panna cotta. Pour the cream and syrup into a small thick-bottomed pan. Sprinkle the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Stir in the lemon zest and salt.
- Set the pan over medium heat and cook the gelatin mixture, stirring continuously, just until bubbly.
- Pour the panna cotta into the peach-lined molds. Cool until set. Chill until needed.
- To serve, run a thin pointed knife around the panna cotta and invert onto dessert plates.