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Vanilla panna cotta with pear jam

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Why I Love This Recipe

This recipe was created by chef Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. It's part of a special menu he created for Epicurious's Wine.Dine.Donate program.

Start this recipe a day before you plan to serve it. Both the pear jam and the panna cotta are best if chilled overnight.

Ingredients You'll Need

For Panna Cotta:
4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin from 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
PreparationStart pear jam
In large bowl, toss together pears and sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

For pear jam:
2 pounds ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup sugar


Make panna cotta:

In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cream. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan over moderate heat, whisk together milk and sugar.

Scrape in seeds from vanilla beans; add beans.

Heat, whisking occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in cream mixture.

Strain through fine-mesh sieve, discarding vanilla beans, then ladle mixture into 8 (4-ounce) ramekins.

Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Finish pear jam:

In heavy medium saucepan over moderate heat, combine 1/2 cup water and pear mixture.

Bring to simmer, uncovered, and cook until pears are tender, about 20 minutes.

Transfer mixture to food processor and purée until smooth.

Transfer jam to medium bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.

(Jam will keep, covered, in refrigerator up to 1 week.)

Unmold and serve

Run thin sharp knife around inside edge of each ramekin to loosen.

Dip bottom of 1 ramekin in bowl of very warm water 6 seconds.

Put plate over ramekin, then invert panna cotta onto plate, gently lifting off ramekin.

Repeat to unmold remaining panna cottas.

Top each with 1/4 cup pear jam and serve.

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