Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Native Strawberries

  • 3 tbsp. cold water
  • 2 tsp. plain gelatin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean-split and scraped of the seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup native strawberries-cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Place the cold water in a small cup or bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Heat the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and lemon zest in a small saucepan until simmering. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin to the hot milk. Stir until completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into 4 separate 4-ounce molds, ramekins or glasses. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

In a bowl, combine the strawberries, second measure of sugar and lemon juice. Let marinate 15 minutes or more. The dessert can be served directly in the serving dish or dipped in hot water very briefly and un-molded onto a serving plate. Surround with the strawberries and garnish with a mint leaf and a crisp cookie. Receipe serves 4 people. Enjoy!

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