so, so very happy to see my flavored half and half children back on the shelf at our local food coop and know that many people in the area and all over the country are happy again. we stopped making them a year ago because we ran out of cream! they were missed.
i was eating dinner at driftless cafe and finished it off with an excellent panna cotta ( i was reminded by the staff that they use organic valley half and half and organic valley heavy whipping cream which always makes me happy to hear 🙂 ) and it made me wonder why i didn’t make a homemade version. it’s easy to make, uses two of my favorite ingredients and can be the used as the base for a nearly infinite number of variations. perfect!
we have plenty of frozen peaches to use in the freezer so i thought i’d start with a maple panna cotta with peach coulis similar in spirit to this strawberry panna cotta and this peaches and cream panna cotta shots.
i used agar-agar flakes in lieu of animal gelatin because, well, i generally try to avoid animal gelatin. i’m guessing a panna cotta purist might scoff at using agar.
12 peach frozen quarters
1 tablespoon sugar
1. in a small saucepan, heat the the half and half, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, sugar and agar flakes until simmering for 5-10 minutes or until the agar flakes are completely dissolved ( to be honest it was impossible for me to completely dissolve all the flakes so this batch had a few tapioca-like chunks in it. perhaps someone has a good tactic for getting them to dissolve completely. )
2. transfer mixture to ramekins, cover and put in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
3. heat peach frozen quarters and sugar with a small amount of water until a thickened peachy sauce is formed.
4. puree peach sauce in blender
5. after the panna cotta has cooled and firmed in the fridge, pour the peach sauce on top
i’m no panna cotta expert, but i believe it’s supposed to have a consistency just slightly thicker than pudding and this batch was pretty close. unsurprisingly, the maple and peach flavors were quite complimentary. A++, would make again!