Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dessert for Two- Lime Panna Cotta

Whether you are planning an Easter brunch or dinner for two, this light dessert is tangy finale. Panna cotta is Italian for “cooked cream” and light and refreshing. I like to serve it in wine glasses or small dessert dishes topped with fresh berries. You can also make it in lightly greased ramekins or custard cups and unmold it. Unfortunately locally grown fresh berries won't be available for a while but the strawberries in the supermarkets have been sweet. When I unmold it, I serve it on a pretty dessert plate in a puddle of raspberry sauce (see below).

Lime Panna Cotta with Raspberries

Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup cold water
1 package (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
1 cup vanilla-flavored or plain Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup whole or 2% milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 cups fresh raspberries

Place the water in a small microwavable dish. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand about 5 minutes or until the gelatin is softened. Microwave on High 30 seconds or until the liquid is clear. (You can also place it in a small saucepan and cook it over low heat.)

Combine the yogurt, milk and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the hot gelatin mixture and stir until smooth. Add the lime rind and juice.

Pour into 4 wine glasses or lightly oiled ramekins. Chill at least 4 hours. Unmold, if desired, and serve with fresh raspberries.

This recipe can easily be doubled to serve eight.

SIDEBAR: It’s easy to make a simple sauce with fresh berries. For raspberries, puree 2 cups raspberries, 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a blender container or food processor. Strain out the seeds, if desired. For a special treat, stir in 1 tablespoon Chambord liqueur.

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