Pink Peppercorn Panna Cotta
13 oz. 2% milk
4 oz. heavy cream
6 tbsp evaporated cane sugar
1 tbsp pink peppercorns
1.5 tsp. gelatin
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 oz. white balsamic vinegar
5 oz. organic cherries
3.5 oz. evaporated cane sugar
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. lemon zest
- In a pot, heat milk, evaporated cane sugar, and crushed pink peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
- While the milk is steeping, add heavy cream to a bowl and sprinkle in gelatin powder. Mix briefly and let it sit until gelatin has bloomed.
- Fold in gelatin mixture to steeped milk and mix until gelatin has fully dissolved.
- Strain mixture to get big peppercorn pieces out, then pour in chia seeds and mix.
- Portion into 2 oz. silicone molds.
- Freeze until ready to use.
Cherry Gastrique (Sauce)
- Place a saucepan under medium heat and add sugar. To make a dry caramel, stir until the sugar turns a light amber color. If the sugar gets past a light amber color, it will create a bitter flavor.
- As soon as sugar has melted, remove from heat and slowly add white balsamic vinegar. Sugar will harden back up a little, but continue mixing until all sugar has dissolved once again.
- Add pitted cherries, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until everything is incorporated and then blend using an Immersion blender until no big chunks of cherry remain.
- Place pan back over heat and continue cooking for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat until gastrique has reduced enough to achieve a slightly thick, syrup consistency.
- Remove, then let it cool.
- While still frozen, unmold panna cottas and place on serving plates. Allow to defrost at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Garnish plate with 2 tsp cherry gastrique, crumbled pink peppercorns, berries, and mint.
Note: The addition of the pink peppercorns delivers a mild, peppery bite with a fruity, almost berry sweetness that adds to the complexity of a classic panna cotta.
- Cherries are on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen List so we suggest you purchase them Organic. Learn more about the EWG and their Dirty Dozen List at www.ewg.org.
- If you don't have a handheld immersion blender, you can just transfer the contents of the pan to a regular blender, puree, then pour back into the pan.