Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Panna Cotta

With Thanksgiving coming up and my hosting this particular holiday for the first time, I've been planning a menu for weeks. I do that. A lot. Planning I mean. Lists, notes, schedules, etc.

Last week I was mulling over desserts. Between myself , my mother and my three sisters we always have the usual pies covered: pumpkin, pecan and apple. I've got to admit though that the pumpkin is never my favorite. And I always wish it would be. I love dessert, and I adore desserts that are creamy and rich. I know, it's bad. But it's not like I eat them all the time. Just some of the time. Okay, most of the time. Yet that pumpkin pie filling always lacks that certain creaminess I long for. I'm happy to say, however, I may have found a solution.

After making a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for a breast cancer bake sale last week, I found myself looking for a way to use up the left-over canned pumpkin in the refrigerator. I'd also bought some coconut milk earlier in the week and knew I wanted to somehow combine the two. The result: Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Panna Cotta. The combination was everything I hoped it would be and with a bit of ground ginger, it went above and beyond any pumpkin pie I've tasted.

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Panna Cotta
Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1 packet gelatin
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Toast the coconut flakes until light golden and set aside.

Place powdered gelatin in a small bowl and cover with 2 tablespoons milk. Set aside until softened.

In a saucepan combine the pumpkin, coconut milk, half & half, sugar, salt and ginger. Stir well until the sugar dissolves then bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture.

Pour into small bowls, ramekins, molds or glasses. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until set. Garnish with toasted coconut just before serving.


Peter G said...

This is a lovely take on pana cotta Maria...I envy your guests this Thanksgiving!

Bellini Valli said...

Pumpkin is ranking up there with chocolate and lemon with me these days:D

Abigail said...

Oh, that sounds gorgeous! Could you tell me how big your gelatin packet is? A tablespoon or so? I live in Japan so I think the gelatin packets here are probably a different size, and if I get a chance to make this, I want to make sure I'm on the same page with the amounts.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me while I wipe the saliva off my keybord...

Laurie Constantino said...

My oh my does this look tasty! A very creative take on Thanksgiving, that's for sure.

Maria said...

Thanks everyone!

Peter, there is nothing like panna cotta--I feel it's rich and light all at the same time (if that's possible).

Nothing says fall like pumpkin and I too can't get enough of it these days Val.

Abigail, I will e-mail you those measurements once I pry myself away from this computer and retrieve a pack of gelatin from the pantry.

Jo, you'd better grab a Wettex before that saliva causes any technical glitches! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Laurie, I love coconut so anything coconut is a treat for me, but this dessert really is a great alternative to any of the pumpkin pies I've tried.

Chef E said...

This is one thing my husband would love for me to make...thanks for posting this one!

Núria said...

What a delicious dessert for Thanksgiving, Maria! These days it's all about pumpkin, isn't it? ;D

Rosie said...

This is a lovely dessert Maria great way of using pumpkin :)

Rosie x

Maria said...

Thanks Chef E for stopping by!

Nuria, Rosie it's a great light dessert (as light as heavy cream can be!) ... and it'll be all about the pumpkin til Thanksgiving Day!

Yannis said...

Maria mou...I love your website. Thea eisai! And this recipe. A friend of mine has been creating her own pumpkin panna cotta.......I will definitely try to make this as well at home.

Euhomai na kaneis visit my blog:

Eimai stin Agglia, teliwnw to didaktoriko mou stin Oxfordi, kai eimai kai magiras.


Anna A. said...

I lurve this recipe! Just so happens I have about 3 cans of coconut milk in my pantry too. This will make a lovely Tday surprise dessert. bravo!

Anna A. said...

I lurve this recipe! Just so happens I have about 3 cans of coconut milk in my pantry waiting to be used for something. This will make an exotic surprise for t-day. bravo!