My panna cotta has just enough gelatin to barely hold it together on the spoon, the goal being for it not to be recognizable as a gelatin dessert. I love how the crème fraîche adds a refreshing dairy tanginess, and I cut the cream with some whole milk, which makes it feel incredibly light on the palate. I never get tired of eating it.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, ¾ cup (175 grams) of the milk, the salt, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds and pod and stir to mix. Refrigerate the remaining ¼ cup (60 grams) milk to keep cold.
- Place the saucepan over medium- low heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until just lightly simmering or an instant-read thermometer registers 170ºF, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool until it feels like a hot bath or an instant-read thermometer registers 120ºF, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the reserved cold milk and let stand until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour a little bit of the warm mixture into the bowl and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, then pour the gelatin mixture into the saucepan. Add the crème fraîche and whisk to remove any lumps. Strain the panna cotta mixture through a chinois or extra-fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl with a pouring spout or a large glass measuring cup. Divide evenly among eight individual ramekins or jars. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
- Serve the panna cotta in their ramekins. Top with fresh fruit and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of the honey syrup.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring a few times, until all of the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, then refrigerate until well chilled before using. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Reprinted with permission from Bestia by Ori Menashe & Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit Nicole Franzen © 2018