December 6, 2011

Holiday desserts: Vanilla Panna Cotta with Cinnamon Apples


While this is not, perhaps, screaming "christmas", it's such a great winter dessert. And certainly perfect if you're getting a bit sick of the usual holiday flavors. And if you're not, go ahead and add some gingerbread spices to your apples - some cardamom, cloves and ginger would be excellent with the cinnamon. Feel free!

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Cinnamon Apples
4 small servings

  • 200 ml cream (full-fat)
  • 1 gelatine sheet
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crushed

  • 1 apple, very finely diced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • the vanilla and cinnamon from above

Soak the gelatine in cold water for five minutes.

Put the cream in a small saucepan with the sugar, vanilla (both the scraped out seeds, and the bean itself) and the cinnamon. Let it infuse for ten minutes. Pass through a sieve (but save the vanilla and cinnamon!) and add the now-softened gelatine sheet. Stir well to make sure it's dissolved. Pour into suitable containers - small glasses or cups - and let it set for at least four hours in the fridge.

For the topping: Mix diced apples, sugar, and the leftover vanilla and cinnamon from the panna cotta, in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat. Let it sit while the panna cotta sets. Fish out the spices, and then spoon the topping over the puddings just before serving.