Please go check your fridge and pantry and see if you have gelatin, yogurt, a vanilla bean, milk, an orange and sugar. Why? Because you need to make this. Seriously. I am currently working my way through every panna cotta recipe that I can find, and this one from Eat Well, Eat Happy has definitely moved to the top.
One thing that I am always going to have in my pantry is vanilla beans. If you’re like me, you buy them in little tubes of 2 or 3 that cost a fortune and then they end up being dry. I don’t know why I never thought of Amazon. But when I ran out of my DIY vanilla extract, I thought I would just check Amazon. Oh my gosh. I found and ordered these Grade A Premium Gourmet Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans , Fresh Prime, Approximatelly 17 Centimeters, 4 Ounce Bagand was hugely impressed (so much so I wrote a positive review for them). They were the plumpest, most fragrant vanilla beans I have ever used. And there is a ton of them (they say there are around 27 per bag, I think there are even more). Now, I will not hesitate to use real vanilla beans in a recipe.
And speaking of recipes, this one was amazing.
You basically simmer some milk with the seeds and pod from a vanilla bean with a few strips of orange zest. It comes out absolutely perfect. It’s flavor is so delicate, vanilla with a hint of orange. Really I can’t say enough about it. In the book she serves it with a fresh fruit compote on top, but honestly I loved it so much plain, I don’t think it needs anything.
Two things to note about the recipe – on the ingredients list it says 3/4 cup sugar, but in the recipe text it says 1/2 cup sugar. I read through it several times to see if I could figure out where the other 1/4 cup of sugar fits in, but I couldn’t find it. So I just used 1/2 cup of sugar and it was plenty sweet enough. Also in the text it says to grease 6 ramekins, but then at the end of the recipe it says it serves 4 – obviously that should be 6.
Also a little change that I made because it’s how I usually do a panna cotta, she has you take a 1/2 cup of milk and put into a bowl and sprinkle that with the gelatin and then use the rest of the milk to simmer the ingredients. I just dumped everything in one pot, sprinkled the gelatin on top, waited 10 minutes and then brought it all to a simmer, stirring to disolve the gelatin (didn’t want to dirty another bowl).
Make this. Seriously.
Yogurt Panna Cotta Flecked with Vanilla Bean
- unflavored gelatin 2 teaspoons (one 1-oz envelope)
- 2%milk, 1 1/2 cups (mine was whole milk)
- vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- sugar. 3/4 cup (see my note above)
- orange zest, 3 strips, each 2-3 inches long
- 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- vegetable oil for ramekins
In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of milk (see my note above). Let stand without stirring for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften.
Pour 1 cup milk into a small saucepan over medium heat. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add those and the bean pod, 1/2 cup of sugar and the orange zest. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved, about 3-5 minutes, transfer to a large bowl. Cool about 10 minutes and remove vanilla bean and orange zest. Whisk in the yogurt.
Lightly brush the insides of six 6-ounce ramekins with oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide yogurt mixture evenly among the ramekins. Cover and refrigerate until set, 8 hours-2 days. I personally find that mine sets in about 2-4 hours.
To serve, gently run your knife around the sides of the ramekin to loosen. Place a plate over the top of each ramekin and holding the plate and the ramekin together invert and remove the ramekin. If desired serve with fresh fruit compote.
Serves 6 (she says 4 in the book, but says 6 ramekins in the instructions!)