Panna Cotta…not Anaconda

My panna cotta (Italian for “cooked cream”) is an Italian pudding like dessert (and gluten free-bonus!) and pretty popular in our family, especially in the summertime. It’s a sweet, light, refreshing “pudding” best served with fresh summer berries and mint. My niece was so excited Sunday when she saw that I made it she exclaimed “ooh yum, you made anaconda!” Close enough, right? No matter what you call it, it’s delicious. And best of all? SUPER easy but yet so deceivingly fancy, everyone will be impressed when you make it. Here’s the recipe.

1/4 cup cold water
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from 2 packages)
3 cups whipping cream (I prefer mine a little lighter so I use 2 cups half and half and 1 cup milk but either way is good)
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons good vanilla
A couple baskets of assorted fresh berries (I like doing a strawberry blueberry combo myself)
1/3 cup sweet white wine (such as Moscato)


Pour 1/4 cup cold water into small custard cup. Sprinkle gelatin over and stir a little bit. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes. Bring 1 inch of water in small pot to boil. Place cup with gelatin in water. Stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine cream and sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and gelatin. Divide pudding mixture among 8 wineglasses. (Or 4 depending on the size of your wine glasses…for a large group like 12 or more I usually double this recipe and if it’s 20 people in triple it.) Cover and chill until set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

In a bowl combine berries with a little sugar and a few splashes of sweet wine, like moscato. Let sit an hour or two so the juices really start to form and then spoon on top of panna cotta with a sprig of mint before serving.



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