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For a more casual presentation, you can chill the panna cotta in one large bowl instead of individual ramekins, but it will take longer to set; use a serving spoon or an ice-cream scoop to serve it with the compote. Cook time is time required for the panna cotta to set.
FOR THE PANNA COTTA
- 2 cups fat-free buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin
- 2⁄3 cup heavy cream
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
FOR THE COMPOTE
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1⁄3 cup liquid honey
- 3⁄4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh gingerroot
- 2 fresh rhubarb, stalks leaves discarded,ends trimmed,and stalks cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices or 2 cups frozen sliced rhubarb, thawed,reserving liquid
- 1 cup cherries, pitted
- Pour 1 cup buttermilk into top half of a double boiler; sprinkle gelatin over top.
- Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Place six 4-ounce ramekins, small bowls, or custard cups on a baking sheet.
- Combine cream and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add cream mixture to gelatin mixture.
- Place over a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk until gelatin has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining buttermilk.
- Pass mixture through a cheesecloth lined sieve.
- Divide among ramekins; cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 4 hours.
- For compote, put rhubarb, cherries, ginger, honey and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and let sit for several hours (at least two).
- Taste for sweetness, if still too tart add more honey to your taste.
- Put this mixture into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then take off heat and bring back to room temperature.
- (you may serve it warm or cold if you wish).
- To serve, unmold panna cotta by dipping ramekins briefly into a hot-water bath and run the tip of a knife around the edges.
- Invert onto serving plates and spoon compote over top.
I tried this last weekend and tested it out on my family. They all thought it was excellent. The rhubarb and cherries perfectly balanced each other in the compote and went very well with the smooth creaminess of the panna cotta. It also looked lovely on the plates. I garnished each with some sprigs of mint, not for flavour so much as for colour. Beautifully presented dish and one I will probably make again, maybe using some different fruits when in season. Thanks!