1 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin
2 T cold water
3 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a 3 qt. saucepan, warm the cream with the sugar, salt, and vanilla over medium-high heat. Do not let boil. Stir in gelatin until thoroughly dissolved. Take cream off heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Pour the sour cream in a medium bowl. Gently whisk in the warm cream a little at a time until smooth. Taste for sweetness. It may need another t. of sugar. Rinse 8 2/3-cup ramekins with cold water. Fill each one 3/4 full with cream. Chill 4 to 24 hours.
To serve, either unmold by packing the molds in hot towels and turning out onto plates or serve in ramekins.
Optional toppings: 2 c. pitted fresh cherries, strawberries, rasberries or sliced peaches and pears.
For firmer panna cotta, increase gelatin to 1 3/4 t.