Light and refreshing lemon is the star in these make-ahead individual desserts.
Gelatin leaves (available at specialty baking stores and online) are easier to work with than powdered gelatin, but either form will suffice. The oils in the lemon zest play an important part in flavoring the panna cottas, so don't be tempted to skip this step!
For a change of pace, try making this dessert with blood oranges or grapefruit instead of lemons.
Serve the panna cottas with fresh berries or mango for a perfect ending to any meal.
2 ½ cup
heavy (whipping) cream
gelatin leaves (or 2 teaspoons powered gelatin)
Earthbound Farm Organic Lemons (finely grated zest and juice)
Combine the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the cream mixture has reached a simmer, reduce the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Continue cooking (but don’t let it boil) for 5 minutes to thicken the mixture slightly. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, place the gelatin leaves in a bowl of very cold water and let them soften for 10 minutes. If you’re using powdered gelatin, follow the directions on the package to soften it.
Remove the gelatin leaves from the water and squeeze lightly to remove excess water. Add the gelatin to the hot (not boiling) cream mixture. Stir to combine.
Arrange 6 ramekins or cups on a rimmed baking tray. Pour the cream mixture into a large measuring cup (at least 4 cups or 1 quart) and divide the mixture among the custard cups, using 1/2 cup per dish. Refrigerate the panna cottas until they’re set and cold, at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
To serve, run the tip of a flexible knife around the edge of each ramekin. Dip the bottom of the ramekin into very hot water for about 30 seconds, then invert the panna cotta onto a dessert plate, carefully removing the ramekin. If the custard doesn’t release from the dish, repeat the steps above. Garnish each serving with berries or fruit and serve cold.