Vanilla and Cider Panna Cotta with Spiced Ginger Cookies

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These cinnamon and vanilla panna cotta are topped with an elegant apple cider gelée. More Great Fall Desserts

Vanilla-and-Cider Panna Cottas with Spiced-Ginger Cookies
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
Yield:
12

This creamy dessert is the ideal finale for fall or winter dinners. Chef Shawn McClain makes his panna cotta with vanilla beans, cinnamon, cream, and tops it with a gelée made with apple cider. He likens the dessert to a Creamsicle, because it successfully combines creamy and tangy flavors. The panna cotta is lovely on its own, but if you have time, make the spiced ginger cookies to serve with it.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 plump vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped

  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked

  • 4 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin (from 2 envelopes)

  • 3 cups apple cider

  • Spiced Ginger Cookies, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine milk with cream, 3/4 cup of the sugar, vanilla beans and seeds, and cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and return it to the saucepan.

  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle 3 teaspoons of the gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water and let stand until softened, about 2 minutes. Scrape gelatin into saucepan and whisk until dissolved. Transfer mixture to a pitcher and pour about 1/2 cup into each of 12 small glasses. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

  3. In a clean saucepan, boil cider with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water and let stand until softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk gelatin into cider mixture until dissolved. Transfer mixture to a pitcher and let cool completely (but don't let gelatin set), about 30 minutes. Gently pour 2 tablespoons of the cider into each panna cotta over an inverted spoon and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Serve with Spiced Ginger Cookies.

Make Ahead

The panna cottas can be covered tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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