Saturday, 12 February 2011

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Poached Pear

I like to please... and this Valentine's Day, I think I have outdone myself! Oh yes, this Panna Cotta is more than just a bit sexy - it's full blown lurrve. The silky smooth Panna Cotta and the delicate, fruity Poached Pear are the perfect pudding match.

Vanilla Panna Cotta:
100ml whole milk
250ml double cream
40g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 gelatine sheets soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
100ml creme fraiche

Poached Pear:
500g pears (three large pears)
100g golden caster sugar
4 slices orange zest
1 vanilla pod
dry white wine and water

For the Panna Cotta, heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a pan. Bring just to the boil then take off the heat and whisk in the pre-soaked gelatine sheets. Leave to cool until tepid then whisk in the creme fraiche. Pour the mixture into four ramekins and chill for four hours.

Peel the pears, leaving the stalk in place. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and half cover the pears with the wine and top up with water. Add the orange zest and vanilla and simmer gently for one hour until the pears are tender.
If the liquid gets too low, top up with water. Once the pears are done, take them out of the pan. Now turn the heat up and reduce the liquid by half. This should take about 30 minutes. Once done, pour over the pears and leave to cool and chill for two hours.

To serve:
Have a bowl of boiling water ready to dip your Panna Cotta ramekins for a few seconds. Turn out onto a plate. For the pears, cut the bottoms off so they stand up. Add some of the syrup around the pear.
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