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panna cotta cups

by Maggie Battista

Makes: 6 [1/2] cup desserts

Preparation Time: 15 minutes active time (up to 12 hours total time)

This recipe is the embodiment of Food Gift Love. It’s one of the first desserts I made for a big potluck and when the crowd loved it, I felt like a superhero. I now cart dozens of panna cotta jars, along with a trio of homemade jams, to parties, encouraging folks to create their own dessert. I typically make this gift about 8 hours before I need it, or in the morning for gifting that evening.

The Greek yogurt tastes healthy but, more importantly, provides a pleasant tang that blends with heavy cream to make for a rich cup. The sweetness, however, is muted purposefully because the homemade Quick Strawberry Jam is sweet enough. If you plan to serve this without jam, increase the sugar in the panna cotta just a bit. I prefer panna cotta that is thick but less bouncy and gelatinous. If you prefer a firmer set, increase the powdered gelatin to 2 teaspoons.



2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) powdered gelatin
[1/2] cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
[3/4] cup (5 ounces) plus 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup (9 ounces) plain Greek-style yogurt
10 ounces Quick Strawberry Jam


Special Equipment

6 [1/2]-cup glasses or jars

Place lemon juice and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle powdered gelatin on top and let sit for 15 minutes.

Place the sugar, 3/4 cup cream and vanilla extract in a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Bring to a very low simmer (do not boil) just until the sugar dissolves. Swirl the pot a few times to help it along.

Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl or extra-large measuring cup, whisk the remaining 1-cup cream, lemon zest and Greek yogurt until smooth and combined.

When warm mixture has completely dissolved, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice-water-gelatin mixture until combined. Slowly pour the warm mixture in a steady stream into the cream-lemon zest-Greek yogurt, whisking continually until combined and well-blended.

Set up 6 glasses on a small tray, pan or large plate, and in advance prepare a spot in the refrigerator that fits the tray. Pour the panna cotta mixture evenly into the 6 glasses. Place the tray in the refrigerator and let set for at least 6 hours up to 12 hours. If you plan to keep the panna cotta in the fridge for 12 plus hours, then cover each glass with a small piece of plastic wrap - this prevents the fridge smells from being absorbed by the panna cotta.

If serving in glasses at home, remove the plastic wrap and serve with a dollop of Quick Strawberry Jam.

If transporting as a gift, use glass jars and cover with the lids or plastic wrap during travel time. To serve, let recipients open and top their panna cotta with spoonfuls of Quick Strawberry Jam.

Excerpt from FOOD GIFT LOVE by Maggie Battista. Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Battista. Photography © 2015 by Heidi Murphy. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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