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Spiced plums and vanilla panna cotta

Literally 'cooked cream', panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert that works best with fruits that balance its richness. So tangy plums are the perfect partner - especially when they're baked with cinnamon and rum.


Serves 6, 20 mins preparation, 30 mins cooking, 3-4 hours chilling

Ingredients for the panna cotta

  • 300ml double cream
  • 50ml full fat milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1½ leaves gelatine
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum

6 ramekin dishes

Method

  1. Put the cream, milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape the seeds out. Add these to the pan, along with the pod. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Soak the gelatine in iced water for 5 minutes until soft. Remove it from the water, and squeeze it firmly to discard as much water as possible. Add it to the cream mixture, along with the rum, and stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Pour the mixture into a jug and stand it in a bowl of iced water. Stir frequently until it starts to thicken.
  5. Pour into ramekin dishes and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Ingredients for the spiced plums

  • 12 Victoria plums, cut in half and stone removed
  • 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 30g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cinamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Spread a large sheet of tin foil on a work surface, and lay a square of baking parchment on top. Place the plums on the parchment, cut side up, and sprinkle with the brown sugar and diced butter. Add the star anise and cinnamon, and then sprinkle with the rum.
  3. Gather the sides of the tin foil and scrunch together into a sealed parcel. Place this on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.

To serve

  1. Run the tip of a sharp knife around the top edge of each panna cotta before dipping the ramekin into a bowl of very hot water for a few seconds.
  2. Shake each ramekin firmly in your hand to loosen, then tip it carefully onto a serving plate. Add the spiced plums and juices.

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