A few weeks ago I went on a panna cotta rampage. I think I made it 4 times in 3 days. This is one of my favorites. Really, it started as an excuse to use all the pretty citrus hanging around the markets right now(blood orange, anyone?). And grapefruit looks so pretty against a white backdrop. Enter: Coconut Panna Cotta.
For one, it’s dairy free. Which is unusual in the world of traditional heavy cream laden panna cotta.
For two, Coconut and Grapefruit pair so nicely together. The tangy, sparkling grapefuit gelee is offset with the mellow smooth coconut and vanilla.
Do try and serve these in clear dishes, if you have them. The colors just beg to be seen!
And, if you’ve got the winter blues, these little desserts will help you feel a little brighter. At least, that’s what citrus does for me. I keep bowls full of lemons, or oranges, and even limes around the house year round, but in the winter I display them in abundance because I find looking at them lifts my mood.
And if looking at them helps, well, eating them must be twice as good, right?
If you’ve never heard of a “Gelee” before, it’s just a fancy word for gelatin, usually made with fruit juice only. Simple stuff. Actually this entire dessert is very simple to make. Fancy words like “gelee” just make is sound tricky.
- 1 14 oz can Coconut Milk
- 3 T. Sugar
- ½ Vanilla bean, slit and seeds scraped
- 2 T. Water
- 1½ t. Gelatin(powdered)
- FOR THE GRAPEFRUIT GELEE:
- ½ C. fresh Grapefruit Juice, divided
- ¾ t. Gelatin(powdered)
- 1 T. Sugar
- 1 Grapefuit, segmented
- Mint leaves, for garnish
- Pour the 2 T. water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the 1½ t. gelatin over the water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Place the coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla bean in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the bloomed gelatin to the pan. Whisk the coconut milk/gelatin mixture until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Discard the vanilla bean, scraping out any remaining vanilla beans and adding them back into the coconut mixture.
- Divide the panna cotta mixture evenly between 4½ c. dishes or ramekins. Refrigerate the panna cotta for at least 3 hours, or until firmly set.
- To make the grapefruit gelee:
- Place 2 T. of the grapefruit juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and allow it to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Place the remaining grapefruit juice and 1 T. sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the juice to a boil and add the bloomed gelatin. Whisk the gelatin into the grapefruit juice until it has fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Remove the chilled panna cottas from the fridge and place 2-3 segmented grapefruit slices on top of each one.
- Pour the grapefruit gelee into each of the panna cotta glasses, so that it almost completely, but not quite covers the grapefruit slices.
- Refrigerate for another hour, or until the gelee has set.
- Serve cold, garnished with mint leaves.