in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Friday, September 14, 2012

Roasted Plum Panna Cotta w/ Lavender Blueberry Sauce

Plumb Plum Panna Cotta. Plumb:"exactly or precisely". Plum: "an excellent or desirable thing". In panna cotta no less!
Roasted Plum Panna Cotta with Lavender Blueberry Sauce
4 purple plums
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup raw sugar
1 1/4 cup milk, divided
1 teaspoon gelatin
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and pit plums. Place in a shallow baking dish cut side up and sprinkle 1 tablespoon raw sugar over tops. Roast for 30 minutes and remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, process or blend into a puree. Measure 1 cup and set aside. In a small sauce pan, begin heating 1 cup milk and remaining sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup milk and stir then allow to sit for several minutes to soften. When milk has begin to simmer, scrap gelatin mixture into hot milk and stir continuously until it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat. Stir in plum puree, half and half and vanilla. Pour into serving dishes and chill for at least 4 hours or over night. Pass Lavender Blueberry Sauce when serving. 4 to 6 servings.

Lavender Blueberry Sauce
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup lavender simple syrup*
Combine blueberries and syrup in a blender container and blend until smooth. Chill for several hours or over night. Good on panna cotta, pound cakes, ice cream etc.

Lavender Simple Syrup: 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 12 lavender blossoms. Boil until sugar dissolves completely. Allow to come to room temperature then remove blossoms. Store airtight in refrigerator. Good for flavoring beverages (lavender limeade!),  cookies, cakes, desserts, sauces etc.
 Hints: It took me a couple of tries to get the consistency right in this panna cotta. It still is a bit less silky than other panna cottas I make just because I use the whole plum puree instead of only the juice. The plum pulp adds some texture to the final product. If you don't want that added texture, you can push the puree through a fine sieve or allow it to drain overnight through cheesecloth and just use the juices. If using the juice only, you will need to roast additional plums, probably about double and increase the gelatin 1 teaspoon. I use granulated gelatin; a half an envelop equals one teaspoon. I really like the taste of the raw sugar but you could substitute regular white sugar with no adjustments in measures. The recipe can easily be doubled. The lavender is very noticeable in with the blueberries and you could make the sauce with ginger simple syrup instead, if the lavender is too much or a flavor you don't care for. The flavor will not continue to intensify if stored for a period of time. I serve the sauce on the side which allows people to take as much or as little as they like.

This is a beautiful looking dessert besides tasting delicious. Use interesting dishes or glasses to serve and garnish with a lavender blossom if you want. I enjoy the lightness of panna cotta after a heavier meal or as a luncheon dessert. I think that plum season is just plumb dandy!

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