This month’s bake together doesn’t actually involve baking. In deference to the summer heat, and with sympathy for those of us who just can’t bear to turn on our ovens, Abby chose ricotta panna cotta with raspberry brezza fresca.
The point of the bake together is to put your own spin on the recipe, and spin it I did, enough, I’m sure, to make Abby dizzy.
Despite the fact that I had a perfectly good tub of ricotta in the fridge, I decided to use queso fresco for my panna cotta, and to make it myself. It is the perfect light, summer cheese, and ridiculously easy to make. I am lucky enough to have access to non-ultra pasteurized milk, which gives the cheese a magnificently fresh taste. (In case you are tempted to warn me of the dangers of raw milk, note that it is still pasteurized, just not to the same degree, literally). If I were a goat cheese person I’d probably have used goat’s milk, but try hard as I can, I just cannot get myself to like the stuff, so cow’s milk it was.
I also wanted this to be kid friendly, so I skipped the gin in the raspberry sauce. I also skipped the raspberries, and went with peaches and strawberries instead. What can I say, it was what I had sitting on my counter.
Then I layered the panna cotta and fruit puree in a set of popsicle molds and froze it. The result is delicious. Delicious!
Strawberry Peach Panna Cotta Popsicles
Make the Queso Fresco:
- 2 quarts unhomogenized whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 T. lime juice
- Combine the milk and salt in a large pot.
- Heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk comes to a full boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and gently stir in the lime juice.
- Continue stirring gently until curds finish forming. This takes only about a minute.
- Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth, discarding the liquid and keeping the solids.
- Allow the curds to drain for 15 minutes, then proceed with panna cotta recipe.
Make the Fruit Puree:
- 1 large peach, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 pint strawberries, hulled
- 2 T. sugar
- 3 T. lime juice
Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Make the Panna Cotta:
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 tsp. gelatin
- 1 recipe queso fresco (see above)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let it sit until the gelatin has plumped up.
- Microwave it until the gelatin has completely melted, about 1 minute.
- Put all ingredients together in a food processor and process until smooth and well blended.
Assemble the Popsicles:
- Pour alternate payers of panna cotta and fruit puree into popsicle molds. Depending on what ratios you use you may have puree left over. Don’t panic, it is delicious on ice cream.
- Insert sticks into the molds and freeze until firm.