Cooked Cream with Sugared Apricots and Hot Huckleberry Sauce

We developed this version of panna cotta at Stars in San Francisco, calling it French Sweet Cream, though why “French” I have no idea.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup mascarpone
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon level gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • teaspoons pure real vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup cooked huckleberry (or blueberry sauce
  • 2 large Australian sugar-preserved apricots, finely chopped

Method

Put the creams, mascarpone, sugar, and salt in a metal bowl and mix together well. Let sit 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, place the gelatin in the water and let it sit 10 minutes. Stir for a minute over low heat to completely dissolve.

Meanwhile, put the bowl of creams over (but not in) simmering water, and warm the creams for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add and mix in the gelatin, the vanilla, and the lemon juice. Continue cooking until the mixture is just warm to the touch.

Put the cream mixture through a fine strainer and divide it among four 6-ounce high ramekins or baba molds. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set.

To unmold the creams, put the ramekins in hot water for several seconds and then invert them onto plates. Sprinkle the creams and the plate surface with the chopped apricots. Warm the huckleberry sauce and spoon over the creams. Eat immediately, as the creams will start to melt on contact with the hot berry sauce.

Variation

Use chocolate and caramel sauces; tropical fruit or any other fruit compotes; strawberries in red wine and Sichuan peppercorns; cooked figs or figs stewed in chocolate and rum, or even in green Chartreuse; or quinces stewed in rosemary sugar syrup and then macerated in white pear brandy.