At this time of year when there are heaps of apples around, unhealthy Apple Crumble get’s a bit boring and it’s good to diversify, and this one looks impressive and tastes great. It’s best made with fresh apples, pressed at home. If you have a juicer or an apple press, start by making some apple juice. It’s good to do more than you need and make a batch of cider or something similar while you’re at it! (NB unless pasteurized – i.e. boiled -, fresh apples juice needs to be kept in the fridge and used within c. 2 weeks or it may start to ferment).
Spiced Apple Panna cotta Recipe
1 litre apple juice
Sugar to taste (depending on how sweet your apple juice is. 50-100g)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg, grated
1 vanilla pod
7 sheets leaf gelatin
A note on gelatin: different brands vary in their ability to set liquids. Find a widely available brand and try to stick to it. Panna cotta should be set, but only just. The test of a good panna cotta is that it should hold its shape, but if you put a straw through the top you should be able to suck the panna cotta up through the straw.
Put the apple juice and the sugar in a large pan and bring to the boil. While the juice is heating, slice a vanilla pod in half lengthwise going all the way down. Using the back of your knife, with the halved pod splayed open on the board like an un-zipped sleeping bag (seeds facing up), remove the seeds out of the pod by scraping the knife all the way up the length of the pod. Add the seeds to the juice with the empty pods. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and start to ‘bloom’ the gelatin in cold water (takes about 5 mins).
When the gelatin has softened and all sugar has dissolved in the juice, take the juice off the heat and allow to cool for 30 seconds then add the gelatin, stirring.
Warm the cream to body temperature (to prevent it curdling – cold cream added to hot liquid may curdle) then add to the juice. Stir the mixture well and check it for taste, adding anything if necessary. Pour through a sieve into a large jug before dividing equally into moulds. or ramekins to go into the fridge until set – 6-8 hours.