With Thanksgiving weekend fast approaching, one of my strategies when I have a big meal to get ready is to get an easy dessert done ahead.
To help relieve some of the stress that often accompanies a hectic gathering, I’m turning to one of my all-time favourite desserts — panna cotta.
This Italian dessert means “cooked cream” and the thing I particularly love about it is there are no eggs required for thickening and no cooking needed. The dessert relies on gelatin to set the cream mixture.
In order to make this dessert Thanksgiving-worthy, I’ve used canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice along with the cream and sugar.
The recipe can be done a day ahead and assembly is a simple matter of unmoulding onto dessert plates and garnishing with pecans.
Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Toasted Pecans
1 envelope of unflavoured gelatin (or four gelatin sheets)
3 tbsp. (45 ml) water
1 3/4 cups (425 ml) whipping cream (35%)
1/3 cup (125 ml) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) canned pumpkin
¾ tsp. (4 ml) pumpkin pie spice
toasted chopped pecans for garnish
1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in medium bowl and set aside. (If using gelatin sheets, submerge sheets in water)
2. In small pan, bring cream and sugar to simmer.
3. Add hot cream mixture to gelatin and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
4. Ladle into six 4 oz. ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate at least two hours. (Can be made day ahead).
5. To serve. Dip each ramekin into saucepan of simmering water for about 10 seconds. Run paring knife around edge of panna cotta to loosen.
6. Tip ramekin upside down into dessert plate to unmould it. Serve with toasted pecans over top.