August 13, 2008

Blackberry-Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Lemon Sauce

for the panna cotta
2 cups blackberries
1 1/2 cup heavy cream (divided use)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin

for the sauce:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon

for the panna cotta:
Pour 1/2 cup of cream in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Set aside. Pour 1/2 cup cream, sugar and blackberries in a saucepan. Cook until boiling, mashing the blackberries and stirring occasionally. Strain (mashing the berries to get all of the juice out) into the gelatin/cream mixture then pour in the remaining cream. Discard the pulp. Mix to dissolve the gelatin. Place the sour cream in a separate bowl. Strain the blackberry/gelatin mixture into the sour cream. Mix thoroughly. Pour into ramekins (the total yield is about 48 oz so divide accordingly).

Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight to set. To unmold, dip the bottoms of each ramekin into hot water then invert onto a plate. If they are a bit stuck, run a knife along the edges before inverting.

for the sauce:
Bring all ingredients to a boil, cook until reduced to a sauce consistency. Allow to cool then drizzle over unmolded panna cotta.

My thoughts:
We planted a tiny blackberry bush last year and it has since grown to be about 7 feet tall. For a while we were getting just a few berries, but now we are up to about a cup a day! It was finally time to do something with them beyond just eating them straight from the vine or over yogurt. Panna cotta seemed like the perfect choice because it really lets the blackberry flavor shine through while still making it easy to strain out all of the blackberry seeds. And who doesn't love a no bake dessert, especially during the summer? Lemon sauce seemed like a natural accompaniment because so many lemon flavored desserts come with a berry sauce or are garnished with berries. In this extremely creamy dessert the berries are the star and the lemons are just a sweet-tart accent.