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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Vanilla Panacotta with blueberry compote

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Its a simple dessert, but I find pannacotta to be one of those pleasant and light desserts that is a welcome treat after a hearty meal. As a concept I find pannacotta to be a great vehicle for a variety of flavours and combinations, ranging from the simple vanilla to the mind blowing complex elements that can be incorporated into such a dessert. This recipe also presents a healthy approach.

You will need (makes a batch of 6):

600ml semi skimmed milk
1 vanilla pod, split
125g caster sugar
4 sheets leaf gelatine
200ml natural yoghurt

Blueberry compote

250g blueberries, washed
3 tbsp caster sugar or honey
2-3 tbsp lemon juice.

The doing bit:

In a pan add the milk and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and add the seeds and the pod too. Add the sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a simmer. Meanwhile soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes to soften them. As soon as the milk begins to bubble remove from the heat. Drain the gelatine leaves ans squeeze out any excess moisture, then add to the milk mixture. Stir to dissolve, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.

Once the milk is cooled, add the yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into moulds (i find that plastic cups work well for this), then cover with cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for a few hours (or even overnight).

For the compote:

Combine the blueberries and sugar in a pan and heat gently together until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries have begun to fall. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.transfer to a bowl and chill.

To unmould: place each plastic cup in hot water for a few seconds. Remove, then turn out gently onto a serving plate. Serve with compote aside.

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