Panna Cotta, that creamy Italian pudding, has been my go-to dessert lately, and I offered to bring it to a recent dinner gathering. And after I offered, I thought...uh, how do I make it portable? And attractive enough for the dinner table?
Canning jars! While the 4 ounce jelly jars are probably a more appropriate serving size, I wanted some headspace for fruit, and come on - 4 ounce serving? Who does that.
And before you say "OMG who has time to make their own pudding?" let me tell you, this takes about 10 minutes, with a few hours of set-up time in the fridge. And everyone - except your dairy-free friends of course - will rave about this dessert.
- 1 cup 1/2 & 1/2 or cream (do not use milk)
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cups cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
Pour the cup of 1/2 & 1/2 or cream in a bowl - or, if you are lazy like me, just leave it in the measuring cup - sprinkle gelatin on top, allow to bloom, about 5 minutes. Top will look all crinkly.
In a pan on low heat, stir and dissolve the gelatin. Do not boil. You'll know it's dissolved when few or no bits of gelatin show on your spoon. This should take about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the vanilla and the cream. Stir until everything is blended.
Pour into jars (or dishes if you are not transporting). Chill in fridge for a few hours until set. Top with fruit. This recipe makes enough for 6 servings of about five ounces each.
A few notes: 1) Some recipes call for a cup of milk instead of 1/2 & 1/2, foolishly looking to lighten the fat and calorie load. My experience has been that using anything with less fat than the 1/2 & 1/2 causes the pudding to separate. And it's yucky. 2) I really like the wide mouth jars here, not only for the cute and transportable feature, but also because there is more surface space for fruit. 3) for those needing more detailed instructions, check this out on The Kitchn. The recipe calls for less liquid and more gelatin (too much, I thought) and explains how to do panna cotta in a mold.