At our local orchard they have the most beautiful strawberries right now. I was originally going to use them in a savory dish of but came across this panna cotta and my plans immediately changed.
Vanilla flavored desserts are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. Sure, I like interesting concoctions with fancy names and out of the norm ingredients – I’m all for that every now and then. But really, simple is how I like it. Give me a vanilla base with a fresh fruit topping and I’m happy. Could that be construed as boring? Perhaps. But what’s good is good.
This recipe called for crème fraîche, which is a thinner and creamier version of sour cream, and something that I couldn’t find anywhere. I made the decision to substitute regular sour cream, I figured it would be alright and it was. Of course, a week later I found crème fraîche at a gourmet market 30 minutes from my house. I seriously hope one day I find one store close by that carries all the stuff I’ll ever need. At this point, I’m going to have to start keeping a damn spreadsheet so I can remember all the places in my state where I find different things. If you have time to spare, you can always make your own crème fraîche using a recipe like this one from Joy of Baking.
I really loved this panna cotta. It was smooth, creamy, and a little tangy. The vanilla was very present and the touch of lemon was nice. The balsamic strawberries were the perfect topping. The texture of it would not set enough to be able to unmold onto a plate like other versions I’ve seen, but it was fine keeping it in the ramekin. Maybe the texture was due to using the sour cream or maybe adding some extra gelatin could have helped. I tasted both components separately and preferred them much more together. I thought the tastes really played off each other well when the panna cotta and strawberries were combined on the spoon.
Loved it. Would make it again without a doubt.
Tyler Florence’s Spring Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries and Balsamic Syrup
Show: Tyler’s Ultimate Episode: Ultimate Orecchiette
Cook Time: 15 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Nonstick spray, for greasing ramekins
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup superfine sugar (I put regular sugar in a food processor and pulsed a few times)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I used vanilla bean paste)
4 strips lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 cups creme fraiche, room temperature (I substituted sour cream)
1 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 large carton strawberries, trimmed and quartered
Spring Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries and Balsamic Syrup marks my eighteenth post for Tyler Florence Fridays, a group with the freedom to make any recipe of Tyler’s that they choose and then share their experiences every Friday.