I live in a household of four. Three of which had the flu. I was not one of the three! Hallelujah!
Have you heard that honey and ginger can ease coughing? I am not sure if that is true or not but I can confirm that they taste delicious with Panna Cotta. That’s right! This dish was inspired by a family of sick people. The symphony of coughs, moans and sneezes that echoed through the house somehow led to a Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Honey Ginger Poached Pears. I even plated this with a “as sloppy as possible” mentality to match everyone’s behavior. Yeah, let’s go with that. I’m not sure why my brain works the way it does but I’m not complaining.
Like the last Panna Cotta recipe, this one also brings a touch of heat. This time from the ginger but don’t worry the heat is not assertive…just present. As if to say “Hi, I’m ginger…want a hug?” The Panna Cotta, pears and honey are all slightly sweet but don’t over power each other. Although not intentional, this dish came together really balanced. A smooth Panna Cotta with a melt in your mouth poached pear is just…YUM! I finished the plate with Honey Oat Granola because I understand that my readers are at the age where they are able to chew and often times enjoy crunching on their food. I apologize if this doesn’t apply to you.
Even though this dish was birthed by illness, I don’t suggest you wait until you’re sick to make this. If you are sick. You don’t want to break out of the blanket you have cocooned yourself in. I understand. Best stick with your chicken noodle soup and saltines. Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Honey Ginger Poached Pears is meant to be savored. If you are not feeling ill and are not currently quarantined in your room then you need to make this. So so so amazing!
Bring lemon juice, water, honey and ginger to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Throw in the pears and simmer until the pears are fork tender (15 minutes for mine but this will vary depending on the size of your pears). Remove the pears to a container when they are ready.
Bring your liquid to a boil reduce until the syrup has thickened slightly (5-8 minutes).
Pour this mixture into your container with the pears and place it in the fridge when they are at room temp.
Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over 2 tbsp of milk. Cut the vanilla pod in half (lengthwise) and scrape out the seeds.
Prepare an ice bath that your pot will fit in.
Throw your vanilla pod, seeds, cream, milk and sugar into a pot. Over medium heat, bring this mixture to a gentle simmer (this will take 5-7 minutes). Make sure to not boil this, milk burns easily.
When you see little bubbles, bring the heat down to low and mix in your gelatin.
When the gelatin has dissolved and the mixture is completely smooth, remove the vanilla pod and place your pot into the ice bath. Leave your mixture in the ice bath until it reaches room temp (5 minutes).
Pour your mixture into whatever serving containers you have. Be sure to grease the containers if you want to serve these unmolded. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours but preferably overnight.
Run a knife or toothpick along the side of the Panna Cotta and place the container in hot tap water for 15-20 seconds. Invert the dessert onto a plate. Garnish and serve.
The Panna Cotta recipe base is adapted from Russ Parsons' recipe here. He wrote an amazing article that breaks this dessert down.