Panna Cotta with Spiced Pear Purée
Panna cotta (Italian for “cooked cream”) is a velvety-smooth, eggless custard and possibly one of the easiest desserts you'll ever make. This version is perfect for fall as it's topped with a cinnamon-spiced purée of fresh pears.
For the panna cotta:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 packets unflavored gelatin (4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup water
For the spiced pear purée:
- 4 ripe pears, peeled and chopped
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
- Place the water in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir briefly, then let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour slowly over the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the cream. Pour into 6 (or 8) individual serving dishes, cover and refrigerate until firm.
- While the panna cotta chills, place the pears, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are very tender and begin to break down.
- Remove from the heat and purée until smooth with an immersion blender (or transfer to a conventional blender or food processor). Stir in the cinnamon and transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
If you want to achieve an extra-smooth texture, press the pear mixture through a sieve or fine-mesh strainer before chilling.