Saturday, August 25, 2012

Passionfruit Panna Cotta

Tangy passionfruit 
When I lived on a farm, we had passionfruit vines rambling over the Graham mango trees. These trees were thirty feet tall so at the height of the season in August, it rained passionfruit, and the mangoes too were tangy and passionfruit fragrant in their voluptuous yellow flesh. Those mangoes - large as cantaloupe - and those passionfruit were the best flavoured in the world. In those days, passionfruit flavoured my mother's sponge cakes and mango sorbets. It's said the Amerindians' use of passionfruit gave them clear eyes and good vision.

Panna cotta is a creamy dessert that originated in the Piedmont region of Italy. It is a way of combining milk and sugar with a little gelatin to a smooth semi-solid creamy confection. Having a source of delicious fresh goat's milk from a farm in Moruga (south coast of Trinidad where Columbus is supposed to have come ashore, or at least anchored his ship) is also very encouraging.

You can make the panna cotta and serve with slices of ripe mango, or stewed guava or five fingers. If you are fortunate to have fresh passionfruit, use the pulpy seeds of one large fruit to flavour five or six servings of panna cotta.

Smooth creamy panna cotta, perfect for passionfruit!

Standard Panna Cotta:
Milk, two cups
Cream, two cup
Brown sugar, 3/4 cup
Powdered  gelatin, two teaspoons

Have ready six custard cups.

Heat one cup milk and cream together in the microwave and dissolve the sugar. In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over  a cup of milk and allow to stand for about ten minutes.

When the sugar is dissolved, add all the milk to the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved and evenly mixed in the milk. Pour into the cups and chill until firm.

My passionfruit and goat milk version:
As you can see, I used glass jars for the panna cotta. My milk combo was actually about a cup and a half of goat's milk and two cups chilled goat's milk yogurt. The sugar was dissolved in one cup of goat's milk heated in the microwave. The gelatin was dissolved in half cup cold goat's milk. Stir until all the gelatin is dissolved, Stir the other milk until the sugar is dissolved. Then combine these two milk mixtures, making sure there are no undissolved particles. Stir in the chilled yogurt to a smooth even consistency. Pour into jars to chill until firm.

Scoop the pulp and seeds from one large passionfruit. Combine with two tablespoons of brown sugar and stir well. Set aside in the refrigerator. Use a teaspoon of this to top each jar of panna cotta.

Golden tangy passionfruit and chilled panna cotta

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