There is a restaurant in Oakland that makes a dreamy panna cotta and even before ordering the mains I check out the dessert menu first. If panna cotta is on it, then I know I need to save room for dessert. My friend Paula recently made Whiskey Panna Cotta. I told her it was my love child as I love a good whiskey too and having them mixed together was bliss. Another favorite dessert for me is a pumpkin pie. I decided to combine two loves and make this recipe for pumpkin panna cotta.
This recipe is super easy and comes together really quickly. The key to this recipe becoming a success is making sure the panna cotta is smooth since you are adding a vegetable, which is the pumpkin, you will need to use a blender or food processor. I tried folding the pumpkin puree into the buttermilk mixture and it does not work. The flavor is good but the texture is not appealing at all.
I prefer a softer panna cotta and since I never unmold them my recipes are always right on. Lenny likes his panna cotta a bit more firm. If you are on the firm camp then add another teaspoon or two to the mixture.
I almost always prefer to use buttermilk in my panna cotta recipes as well since I like the tartness that comes with it. If you are not a fan of buttermilk then use whole fat milk. I also prefer to top with a little sweetened creme fraiche instead of whipped cream. I add a small amount of coconut sugar to 8 ounces of cream fraiche along with a bit of vanilla bean paste and it is perfect with the creamy pumpkin panna cotta.
Pumpkin Panna Cotta
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon gelatine
Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Pour the buttermilk, sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and cardamom into the blender. Blend until very smooth.
Turn the heat to low under the saucepan of cream. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the warmed cream. Cook over low heat, stirring the entire time until steam rises; about 2 – 3 minutes.
Take off the of the heat and gently ladle into heatproof dessert dishes.
Place into the fridge and chill until firm; about 1 hour.
Serve with cream fraiche or whipped cream.