Panna Cotta with Poached Feijoas
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 8 g of powdered gelatine or 1-2 sheets of leaf gelatine
- 1/2 cup thick double cream (or thick Greek-style yogurt)
- 4 feijoas
- 2 lemons
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 cups of water
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
Grease 4 small cups or pudding moulds.
Soften the leaf gelatine in a little cold water.
Pour milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds and half the sugar into a saucepan, bring to the boil slowly allowing the vanilla to infuse its flavour into the cream, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the remaining sugar and the gelatine (which you need to squeeze excess water from before adding to the cream mixture).
Strain the cream and gelatine mixture into a bowl and chill over ice, stirring continuously to make sure all the vanilla seeds are evenly distributed throughout the dessert. When the cream mixture reaches a gelatinous appearance and has begun to thicken, remove the bowl from the ice.
Stir some of the vanilla infused cream with the gelatine into the half cup of thickened cream, to 'loosen' the thickened cream up so that you can add it easily into the remaining mixture. Strain again and pour into the moulds to set (1-2 hours in the fridge).
To remove the moulds, submerge moulds half way into a bowl of boiling water for about 10 seconds. Gently place a small knife down the inside edge to create an air pocket and separate the pannacotta from the mould. Turn the pannacotta out into four plates and serve with poached feijoas
Bring the water and sugar to the simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, shave the zest of the lemons and add to the pan along with the strained lemon juice, vanilla pod and scraped out seeds. Remove from the heat and swirl the pan to dissolve the sugar completely.
Cut the feijoas in half, scoop out the flesh of each feijoa and add it to the poaching syrup one at a time as you go to stop discolouration. The syrup should cover the fruit by about 1 to 2 cm; add more water if necessary, blending in 6 tablespoons of sugar per cup.
Keep poaching liquor just below the simmering point for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until fruit is tender. Let cool in the syrup for 30 minutes so that the fruit will absorb all the flavour.
Recipe adapted from The Food I Love by Neil Perry (Murdoch Books)