Friday, October 9, 2009
Panna Cotta and Grape Gelée
I really hate the feeling of walking into the market and seeing that all my favorite fruits have vanished into retirement for the season. My heart sank yesterday as I rushed around the corner to my organic market only to realize that figs are beginning to slip away. And no more nectarines. Sigh. But there are lovely bunches of grapes reclining everywhere!
I love good grapes, especially the Bronx grapes we get here in August. And who can resist the irresistible mustiness of Concord grapes? So here I use grapes in service to a molded dessert by topping a Panna Cotta with an easy and good Grape Gelée.
The recipe has to be staged a bit, but other than that, it’s very easy to do. I first got the idea from a recipe I saw in Gourmet a few years ago. And speaking of Gourmet, I was pretty shocked to hear that it will be no more. Although it has been a flagship for good writers and interesting food journeys for nearly 70 years, Condé Nast has decided to fold it. It was a uniquely American publication that defined the culinary landscape in new ways over the decades, so it is sad to see its passing. But sad as it is, we can only look forward to a future of continued fervor online for the wonderful culture of food and the incredible pleasure it brings to all of us.
- This would be good to try with sliced plums, fresh figs, cherries or blueberries.
- If you don’t have ramekins, you can just set these up in some glasses as a parfait.
- I used four 4 1/2” ramekins. You can probably get 5 or 6 servings if you use 3 1/4” ramekins.
Panna Cotta and Grape Gelée
based on a recipe from Gourmet Magazine
vegetable oil for greasing ramekins
1 C 100% Concord grape juice
1 1/4 t unflavored gelatin
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 T port (optional)
1 C seedless red grapes, sliced in half
Lightly oil four 4 1/2” ramekins.
Sprinkle gelatin over 2 T grape juice in a small dish and let stand a couple of minutes to soften. Set the bottom of the dish in simmering water to melt the gelatin. Add to remaining grape juice and lemon juice (and port, if using) and combine thoroughly. Divide grape gelatin among the ramekins. Line the bottom of each ramekin with the sliced grapes. Place ramekins in the freezer for about 45 minutes or until set.
2 C plain yogurt
3/4 t vanilla
1 t fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 t unflavored gelatin
2 T water
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
A few minutes before the gelée is ready, whisk together yogurt, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside.
Place 2 tablespoons of water in a small dish. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let sit for a few minutes to bloom. Bring the heavy cream and brown sugar to a slow simmer over moderately low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Set the bottom of the dish of bloomed gelatin in a pan of simmering water to melt, then whisk into cream mixture. Add the cream and pinch of salt to the yogurt mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour over set gelée and chill in the refrigerator overnight, or several hours until firm.
To unmold, run a clean very thin sharp knife or small metal spatula along the edge of the ramekins. Then one at a time, dip the bottom of the ramekins in a small bowl of very hot water for 6 – 10 seconds, or long enough to feel some warmth on the bottom of the ramekin but not too long to begin melting the gelatin. Place a plate over each ramekin and invert panna cotta. Gently lift off ramekins. Serve at room temperature.