Panna cotta is the most weightless of custards. It has a soothingly silky feel on the palate, it is just sweet enough, and I have never known anyone who didn’t like it. For a short period, however, when I was working with it in an American kitchen, I hated it.
Panna cotta means cooked cream, and that is the way I make it in Italy, allowing the cream to boil. At home in Venice it came out perfectly, but on each of my first attempts in the States, I ended up with a gummy residue on the bottom, even before adding the gelatin. One day, as I picked up the container to hurl it into the trash can, my eye was caught by the fine print, and I discovered that it contained a density enhancer that, at high heat, hardens and precipitates. The solution became clear: Do not let the cream boil.
6 custard ramekins
Marinate raspberries or blueberries or strawberries, or a mixture of them, in a small bowl with
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