Creamy vanilla panna cotta given a festive twist with a cranberry curd
A classic vanilla panna cotta is a staple in any pastry chefs recipe book. Sweet and creamy vanilla panna cotta is delicious alone but is really versatile with what it can be paired with. January is a funny time of year in that its still cold and we are all craving rich and comforting food. However we have only just finished with the festive season, which usually has us all feasting on incredibly rich desserts and come January we’re over it.
My vanilla panna cotta topped with cranberry curd is the best of both worlds ad perfect to beat the January blues. A rich and creamy vanilla panna cotta made with thick cream and whole vanilla beans really hits that sweet spot. Whereas the cranberry curd is a well balanced combination of sweet and tart to balance the vanilla panna cotta and keep everything light and fresh.
A simple vanilla panna cotta is a great staple to have in your recipe book, quick and easy to whip up, sets in hours and you have a beautiful light and creamy dessert that takes next to no effort at all.
Ingredients – for the vanilla panna cotta
- 250ml whole milk
- 250ml double cream
- 3 leaves of gelatin or 1 sachet of powder gelatin
- 25g caster sugar
- 1 whole vanilla pod
Ingredients – for the cranberry curd
- 250ml orange juice
- 340g cranberries
- 150g sugar
- 3tbsp cornflour
- 3 egg yolks
- 5tbsp butter
- 5tbsp orange zest
- 1 piece of star anise
Method – for the vanilla panna potta
- Start with the gelatin, if you are using leaf gelatin, place in a bowl of cold water for 5 min until soft. If using powdered place in a bowl and cover with 8 tsp of warm water.
- Split the vanilla pod open length ways and scrape out the seeds.
- In a medium saucepan on a medium heat, place the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla pod and vanilla seeds.
- Heat until just starting to simmer. If using gelatin leaves, squeeze out the water and add the leaves to the pan. If using powder, transfer the bloomed gelatin to the pan.
- Gently heat the cream mixture until the gelatin has fully dissolved. Remove the vanilla pod and leave to cool.
- What you will serve the vanilla panna cotta in will determine how long you will need to leave it to cool. If you are using a ceramic or metal ramekin you can transfer the mixture whilst it is still hot. However if like me you are using a glass, it is best to wait until the mixture is luke warm so to not break the glass. Keep stirring occasionally until the mixture has cooled.
- Divide your vanilla panna cotta mixture into your ramekins or glasses and leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of an hour. To achieve the diagonal line in the glasses as I have, leave the panna cotta in your fridge propped up at an angle
Method – for the cranberry curd
- In a medium pan over a medium heat add the cranberries, orange juice, sugar, star anise and orange zest. Simmer for around 10 minutes until the cranberries have popped open.
- Remove from the heat, remove and discard the star anise and transfer the rest of the mixture to a food processor, blend the mixture until smooth.
- Press the mix through a sieve to remove any large lumps and return to the pan on a medium heat.
- Add the cornflour to the pan and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened and is bubbling.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and gently pour half of the cranberry mixture into the eggs. Whisk the egg mixture vigorously and add back to the pan with the remaining cranberry. Keep whisking!
- Heat gently for another 2 minutes continuously stirring with your whisk, no need to dirty a spoon. If any lumps start to form whisk vigorously for a few seconds.
- When the mixture is thick, glossy and glorious remove it from the heat.
- Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk this into the mixture well.
- Leave the mixture until it has cooled, whisking occasionally to stop it from setting.
- Once the mixture has cooled top the vanilla panna cotta with your cranberry curd and leave in the fridge to set for at least an hour.
- Decorate your vanilla panna cotta however you like, sugared cranberries are great here or like I have you can use fresh cranberries, blueberries and a little sprig of rosemary.
And there you have it, my Vanilla Panna Cotta with Cranberry Curd. Remember to show me your bakes by tagging @whatseatingmanchester in your social media post.