This voluptuous panna cotta is delightful enough to eat on its own. But New York City chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske take the custard to new heights by topping it with superfresh strawberry granita, silky golden caramel and crunchy bits of milk cookies.
Slideshow: More Panna Cotta Recipes
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered (4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped and pods reserved for another use
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the strawberry granita
In a blender, puree the strawberries, sugar and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Scrape into a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan and freeze overnight. Using a fork, scrape the granita until icy and flaky.
Step 2 Meanwhile, make the panna cotta
In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin with 6 tablespoons of water until smooth; let stand for 2 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla seeds and bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Add the softened gelatin and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream. Pour the panna cotta into eight 6-ounce ramekins, then cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Step 4 Make the caramel sauce
In a large skillet, melt the sugar over low heat, swirling the skillet occasionally, until an amber caramel forms, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the cream and butter (the caramel will seize) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a heatproof bowl, stir in a pinch of salt and cool to room temperature.
Step 5 Make the milk crumble
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients, using your fingertips to blend in the butter until clumps form. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a rack to cool.
To serve, invert the panna cotta onto plates. Spoon some of the caramel sauce over each panna cotta and top with some of the granita. Garnish with some of the milk crumble and serve.
The granita can be frozen for up to 1 week. The milk crumble can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days. The panna cotta and caramel sauce can be refrigerated separately for 2 days; reheat the caramel slightly before serving.
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