Nectarine Panna Cotta with Roasted Plums (Dairy-Free)
The most delicious nectarine panna cotta you’ve ever tasted (which also happens to be dairy-free and refined sugar-free).
This is one of those desserts that you just gotta have. The name may pull you in, the pics may tempt you….but once you take a bite…oh, you will love everything about this gorgeous fruity dessert!
If you’ve never had panna cotta before, you are in for a treat. Panna cotta is a traditional Italian dessert made from sugar, cream and gelatin. It’s quite delicious, but not exactly stellar on the health-o-meter. And not so good if you’re dairy-free. Or refined-sugar free.
So let me introduce you to panna cotta version 2.0. Instead of dairy, I use healthy coconut milk. And instead of processed sugar, I upgrade to honey. And while yes, sugar is still sugar (which is why I don’t recommend eating all four portions yourself!) – I think we can all agree that honey is definitely an upgrade.
But this panna cotta still needed a little jazz – so I pureed some nectarines and threw those in. Then, I roasted some sliced plums in maple sugar (always a good idea) and decided they’d be the perfect topping. And I’m sure you’ll agree, nectarines and plums pair together beautifully!
I used white honey, white nectarines and vanilla powder to keep the panna cotta white in color. It just seems more crisp that way. But if color isn’t a concern for you, feel free to use regular honey, yellow nectarines and vanilla extract. Ironically, I was after red fleshed plums, but somehow ended up with light fleshed plums. Funny thing though, I actually like the contrast in color between the flesh and the skins. Gotta love it when “mistakes” like that work out!
But I should forewarn you that while this nectarine panna cotta firms up, you will not be able to invert it onto a plate. I’m not a fan of the overly gelatinized versions of panna cotta that resemble hockey pucks. You know what I’m talking about right?! Because if it’s gelatin I’m after, I’ll whip up my gut-healing orange mango gelatin gummies.
Rather, in my opinion, panna cotta should be sweet and soft…subtle and creamy. Delicate, elegant and divine. I think this nectarine panna cotta fits the bill!
- Place the water in a small dish. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and allow it to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Add the nectarines to a food processor and pulse until pureed. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, nectarine puree and honey. Stir until simmering and the honey has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low, add the vanilla and bloomed gelatin and whisk for several minutes, until all the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour the panna cotta into four 6oz ramekins and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- While the panna cotta is chilling, roast the plums. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Slice the plums in quarters, then halves again (eight pieces per plum).
- Place the plums on a small, rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the maple sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Once cool, place the plums and juice in a glass storage container (I use this one) and refrigerate.
- Once the panna cotta has set, serve with several roasted plum slices.
PS – If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of gelatin, I highly recommend my friend Sylvie McCracken’s book, The Gelatin Secret. It’s the most comprehensive resource I’ve found on gelatin (with over 150 pages of health info and recipes!).
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