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Panna Cotta With Fresh Strawberry Sauce

From the kitchen of Sheri Pedersen

Traditional family dessert on Christmas Eve


1 1/2 cups milk
1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water


Pour the milk into a bowl; sprinkle the gelatin over the milk. Allow mixture to sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

Combine the cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the gelatin mixture; cook and stir until gelatin dissolves completely, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture evenly into ramekins; cover and chill at least 4 hours.  Optional: lightly grease ramekins with olive oil.

To make the strawberry sauce, combine the strawberries, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat. While the mixture cooks; crush the strawberries with a potato masher. Simmer the sauce until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes; cool.

Remove chilled ramekins from the refrigerator shortly before serving. Dip the bottoms of the cups in warm water to help loosen the custard. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inner edge of each ramekin to loosen the dessert; turn onto a dessert plate to unmold. (You can also leave them in the ramekin for serving.) Spoon strawberry sauce over panna cotta to serve.  

Optional: serve in a wine glass or fill silicone mini muffin pans and turn out on plate.
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