Here is my offering of Americana for Independence day. I know I probably should have made something red, white and blue but those are the colours of the British flag too so I don’t necessarily associate them with the USA. Instead I’ve used flavours that for me are very evocative of America.
This is quite a soft-set panna cotta so if you want to be able to serve it as a moulded dessert then you may want to use an extra sheet of gelatine. Make sure that you use whole (full fat) milk too, if you don’t then it won’t blend as well with the cream in the mixture and you may get some separation as it sets.
250ml double cream
250ml whole milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp bourbon vanilla paste or 1 vanilla pod
2 tbsp good bourbon (I used Gentleman Jack)
3 gelatine leaves
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
handful pecan nuts (allow 4-5 per person)
Using a medium-sized pan over a moderate heat, heat the cream, milk, sugar, bourbon and vanilla but don’t let it boil.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a little water so that they swell and become soft. (There should be instructions on the packet)
Remove the cream mixture from the heat and let it sit for a minute or two. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add the softened leaves to the cream. Stir well until it has completely dissolved.
Pour into ramekins, glasses or moulds and pop the panna cottas in the fridge to set for a few hours.
The glazed pecans are really easy to make. Simply toss together the pecans and syrup in a frying pan and heat gently until the syrup thickens and coats the nuts. Separate the nuts on a piece of grease-proof paper and leave them to cool and become crunchy. Use to garnish the panna cotta just before serving.