Friday, February 25, 2011

Piña Colada Panna Cotta

A couple of weeks ago, we were having friends in for a casual dinner.  I found myself a little short on time and thought immediately of my easy go-to dessert: panna cotta.  Italian for "cooked cream," it is fast, delicious and easy to vary.  I did pumpkin panna cotta for Thanksgiving and egg nog panna cotta for Christmas.  

Looking in my pantry, I found ingredients for the rum-based drink, piña colada.  Why not turn it into panna cotta?  I did, and with a little quickly caramelized pineapple on top, it was a hit.

If you’d rather unmold it, you can make it in custard cups or ramekins and add the topping just before serving. 

Piña Colada Panna Cotta

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 tbsp. cool water
1 7-oz. can crushed pineapple in juice
1 7- or 8-oz. can coconut cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
2 cups pineapple chunks (fresh, or canned, drained)

In a flat dish, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water to soften.  Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, puree the pineapple (undrained) and coconut cream until very smooth.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan heat the cream and vanilla over medium heat until just starting to bubble around the edges.  Add the softened gelatin and whisk until dissolved.  Let cool slightly then whisk in the sour cream and pineapple mixture.  Divide among 8 serving dishes or wine glasses.  Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.

For the topping, cook the brown sugar and butter together over medium heat until the sugar melts.  Lower heat and simmer about 5 minutes.  Add the pineapple and stir to cover all the pieces. At serving time, divide the chunks among the glasses and top with the warm caramelized brown sugar topping.  Once you’ve added the warm topping, serve  immediately.  Serves 8.

NOTES: Use coconut cream, found in the beverage mixer section of the supermarket, not coconut milk.

1 comment:

Sammie said...

I've never tried panna cotta but it looks like an easy go to dessert and I love that you can vary it depending on the season. Looks delicious!