Florence Knight’s summerized version of panna cotta makes good use of seasonal blueberries and gets an extra punch from a few glugs of grappa. ANDIE CUSICK Panna cottas, blueberries & grappa 100ml/3½fl oz. grappa reduced to 75ml 10.5g/0.4 oz. gold leaf gelatin 1 vanilla pods 68g/2.4 oz. caster sugar 60g/2.5 oz. double cream […]
Florence Knight’s summerized version of panna cotta makes good use of seasonal blueberries and gets an extra punch from a few glugs of grappa. ANDIE CUSICK
Panna cottas, blueberries & grappa
100ml/3½fl oz. grappa reduced to 75ml
10.5g/0.4 oz. gold leaf gelatin
1 vanilla pods
68g/2.4 oz. caster sugar
60g/2.5 oz. double cream
200g/7 oz. milk
100g/3.5 oz. buttermilk
Brown sugar meringue
A slice of lemon
200g/7 oz. caster sugar
100g/3.5 oz. dark sugar
5 /150g /5 oz. egg whites (room temp)
2 tsp of cider vinegar
150g/5 oz. blueberries
50g/2 oz. sugar
100ml/3½fl oz. water
4 tbsp lemon juice
A good pinch of salt
Lightly grease six Dariole molds with vegetable oil making sure you have rubbed out all the excess oil with kitchen paper.
Pour the grappa into a pan and burn off the harsh flavor over a medium heat for two minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Bloom the gelatin in cold water. Split the vanilla pod in two with a small knife and remove the seeds by running the knife along the cut pod. Add the sugar, vanilla pod, along with seeds, to the cream. Place the pan over a low heat and dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved bring the cream to a boil for two minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Now squeeze the liquid out of the gelatin and lower the leaves into the hot cream. Stir through the milk, buttermilk and grappa until evenly combined. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a deep tray. Stir the mixture over ice until it has a thick coating consistency.
Using a jug pour the mixture into the molds and leave to set overnight for best results.
Meanwhile start to make the meringues. Preheat the oven to 200C.
Combine the sugars in a bowl and press them through a sieve onto a silicone mat or greaseproof paper.
Wipe the bowl and the whisk with the cut piece of lemon.
Place the sugar in the oven and cook until the sugar begins to melt and feels hot in the center. Check after 6 -8 minutes
Start whisking the whites to a medium peak and gradually pour in the hot sugar whisking non-stop until the mixture is glossy and hold its shape, being very careful of the hot sugar.
Whisk through the cider vinegar and spread the mixture evenly over a silicone mat or greaseproof paper about 1 cm thick. Place the tray into the oven at the lowest setting or turn the oven off and leave them in there until it has cooled, then immediately transfer to an air-tight container. They should feel crisp on the outside and hollow when tapped on the bottom. This can take up to six hours.
Begin to make the blueberry compote. In a medium pan add the sugar, water, lemon juice and salt. Dissolve the sugar granules over a low heat gently stirring any stubborn granules. Once dissolved bring to the sugary mixture to boil for fire minutes. Scatter the blueberries over the hot syrup and simmer for two minutes or until the liquor turns a deep purple. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the residual heat of the pan to keep cooking the mixture.
To help release the panna cottas from their molds lower them carefully into a bowl of hot water for a few seconds and run the tip of a sharp knife around the edge. Then upturn on to a small dish or saucer. Spoon over the blueberries along with some of the liquor and crumble over the meringue pieces.