I made this creamy, sweet, and refreshing dessert twice during the holidays, and have been asked for the recipe multiple times. Once I served it at a dessert buffet with salted dark chocolate cake. The two flavors played off each other well.
This recipe is really easy, can be made a day ahead, and can easily be modified with other toppings. I’m trying chocolate next.
Cranberry Panna Cotta
Thanks to Nancy Jo Newman for the original recipe.
In a small saucepan, heat until sugar is disolved and liquid begins to simmer:
1 and 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (if there are clumps of cream clinging to the sides of the carton, scrape these out and use them…the richer, the better!)
1/4 cup sugar (I used xylitol for a low-glycemic sweetener; maple syrup would also be wonderful)
Mix together in 1 qt bowl:
1/4 or so of the hot cream
1 packet gelatin (2 and 1/2 tsp.) Read more about gelatin in this post.
The gelatin will disolve. Use a wire whisk to beat until smooth, adding the rest of the hot cream. Then beat in:
1 cup whole milk yogurt (I used Trader Joes Organic European Style Whole Milk Yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla
Pour into a 9X12 inch pan, or 8 sorbet glasses. Refrigerate for a few hours until set.
Simmer in a clean saucepan:
4 barlett pears, cored, pealed, and cut in chunks
1 cup black cherry juice (I used Knudsons Just Black Cherry)
When pears are soft, mash them in the pan, and continue to simmer. Then stir in:
1/3 bag fresh cranberries, cut in half each (this avoids the skins from bursting off and rolling up into those little spears in sauce)
sugar to taste (I used 1/4 cup xylitol)
Simmer/stir for 5 minutes more, then cool for about a half hour on the counter before layering over the set cream. Refrigerate until serving.