Panna Cotta (‘cooked cream’) is an Italian dessert that is perfect for a hot summer day. It is usually served with a fruit sauce and in this version a rich sauce is made from baked strawberries
Water…… 3 tablespoons
Cream….. 1 1/2 cups
Buttermilk ……1/2 cup
Confectioner’s Sugar……1/4 cup
Vanilla Extract…. .1/2 teaspoon
Strawberries…. 3/4 lb. (purchase 1 lb package)
Lemon Juice…. 2 tablespoons
Sugar…… 2 tablespoons (to taste)
Water….. 1/2 cup
Water…. 3 tablespoons
1. Make the sauce: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash the strawberries and use about 3/4 of them for the sauce. Remove the tops and cut in halves or quarters (depending on size). Lightly oil a sheet pan and place strawberries on the pan and then bake in the over for about 20 minutes. They should be very soft when finished.
2. Transfer the baked strawberries to a food processor and lightly puree. Using a sauce pan combine strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and water and heat to a simmer. Make a slurry using with the corn starch and water and slowly whisk into strawberry sauce to thicken ( it should be able to stick to the back of a spoon when done). If you prefer a smooth sauce, you can strain it when it is done.
3. Mix gelatin and water in a bowl and set aside. Combine cream, sugar and confectioner’s sugar in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Gently heat, while stirring, until the mixture begins to simmer. Slowly add gelatin mixture, while stirring, until completely dissolved and then remove from heat.
4. When cream cools to less then 100 degrees, mix in buttermilk and divide mixture into lightly oiled ramekins. Chill well in the refrigerator before serving.
5. Unmold and garnish with the baked strawberry sauce and freshly cut strawberries. You can also add on a fresh mint leaf for extra flavor and presentation. Enjoy!