By: Helena Stallings, Culinary Arts Student
When people think of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, many times they fail to think of the pastry arts program and I believe that is where a large portion of Escoffier’s talent lies. During my culinary arts program I was constantly joining pastry classes to see what recipes they were doing for the day and after watching a student make a chocolate Panna Cotta, I was hooked on that dessert. Panna Cotta is a dish that can be changed in many ways by changing the flavors and fresh, in season pumpkin is a great flavor to add.
To start, bloom 2 and 1/4 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin in 1/4 cup of water. In a medium sized pot on medium low heat, whisk together 3/4 cup milk, 1 and 3/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp pumpkin spice and 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin puree. Remove from heat right before it begins to boil and mix in the gelatin. Pour the mixture into ramekins and allow to cool for at least 4 hours. If time is an issue, it doesn’t hurt them to put them in the freezer for awhile to speed up the process. When the Panna Cottas are ready, dip a small knife into some warm water and run the knife along the edge of the ramekin. Place a plate on the top of the ramekin and flip it over so that the plate is on the bottom. To top it off, garnish with a scoop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
How to Make Pumpkin Panna Cotta
1 ¼ oz (2 ¼ tsp) envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
¾ cup milk
1 ¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin spice
¾ cup canned pumpkin puree (no spices added)
1. Mix gelatin with 1/4 cup water and let sit.
2. In the meantime, whisk the cream, milk, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla and spices in a medium saucepan over medium low heat until it’s just boiling.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the gelatin. Then mix in the gelatin and pour into ramekins (should fill about 6 of them). Let it cool for at least 4 hours.
4. To pop the pana cotta out of the ramekin, dip each ramekin bottom in hot water for a couple second. Then use a paring knife around the edges to loosen everything. With top side down over a dessert plate, shake it strongly once or twice. It should slide right out!
5. Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Buon Appetito!