This dessert is incredibly easy to make. The important thing is to get the texture just right – smooth, silky and not too firm – so it is vital to use the correct amount of gelatine.
• a little bit sunflower oil, for oiling
• 2 sheets leaf gelatine, 4g each
• 150ml whipping cream
• 1/2 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
• 1/2 lemon, juiced and zest finely pared
• 40g caster sugar
• 180ml buttermilk
For the blueberry compote:
• 250g blueberries, washed
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 40g sugar, or to taste
• 150g shelled cobnuts
1 Lightly oil 4–6 non-stick dariole or other small moulds, about 3.5 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep. Soften the gelatine leaves in a dish of very cold water for 10 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, pour the cream into a heavy-based pan and add the vanilla pod and seeds, lemon zest and sugar. Heat slowly over a low heat and then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
3 Remove the pan from the heat. Immediately squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove excess water and add them to the hot cream mixture, stirring until fully dissolved.
4 Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a shallow container. Refrigerate until cooled to just warm, but not set.
5 Finally, whisk in the buttermilk, followed by the lemon juice. Transfer the panna cotta mixture to a jug and pour evenly into the prepared moulds.
6 Chill for 4–6 hours, or until set.
7 In the meantime, if including cobnuts, finely slice them using a mandoline if you have one and toast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 3–4 minutes until golden.
8 Tip the nuts onto a plate and leave to cool.
9 For the compote, put the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar into a small pan and cook over a medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes until the berries start to burst and release their juice. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if needed. Cool slightly.
10 To unmould each panna cotta, briefly dip the base of the mould in hot water and upturn into a shallow bowl – the panna cotta should be released quite easily.
11 Surround with the blueberry compote and finish with the toasted cobnuts, if using.
Recipe courtesy of Tom Kitchin, extracted from Kitchin Suppers