Citizens – the Jewish holiday of Shavuot begins at sunset today, marking one of the holiest events in the Jewish year that celebrates both the annual wheat harvest and the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.
It is customary to have a dairy-only meal on Shavuot – the website chabad.org notes the metaphysical rationale:
The Torah is likened to nourishing milk. Also, the Hebrew word for milk is chalav, and when the numerical values of each of the letters in the word chalav are added together—8 + 30 + 2—the total is forty. Forty is the number of days Moses spent on Mount Sinai when receiving the Torah.
Traditionally, blintzes or cheesecake make up the dairy dessert in Ashkenazic (Germanic Jews) homes, while ‘ataiyef are enjoyed by Mizrahi (Arabic Jews). TFG has decided to instead share his personal panna cotta recipe for a delightful change of pace! Since this meal is all about the dairy, please use the best-quality organic milk you can find, ideally from the Jersey breed of cows that have the richest milk and cream of all!
Panna cotta (Italian ‘cooked cream’) is an Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream may be aromatized with rum, coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings – I use vanilla and a mere whisper of lavender.
Panna cotta is often served with a coulis of berries, or a sauce of caramel or chocolate. It may be covered with fruit or with liqueurs – I love it with this fantastic sweet and sour combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar.
To round out the flavors and for decorative color, I lastly add a touch of bitter green tea powder – feel free to omit it.
Enjoy, , Hapky Shavuot! 🙂
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon powdered kosher gelatin
- Neutral-tasting oil
- 2 ½ cups organic heavy cream, preferably Jersey
- 1 ½ cups organic whole milk, preferably Jersey
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon food-grade lavender flowers
- Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar Toppping:
- 2 (1-pint) baskets strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- Matcha green tea powder for garnishing
- 6 sprigs fresh mint for garnishing
- Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir to distribute, and set aside to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Wipe the insides of 8 ½-cup ramekins with a light coating of neutral oil, then set aside. Half-fill a large bowl with ice and add enough water to make an ice bath, then set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, lavender and vanilla bean, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, strain out lavender flowers and whisk in the softened gelatin and the vanilla paste.
- Set the saucepan in the ice bath (make sure the top of the saucepan is well above the surface of the water), and whisk until the mixture is lukewarm. Rub your fingers together: There should be no grit from undissolved sugar or gelatin.
- Ladle the mixture into the oiled ramekins and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. If you’re going to keep them longer than overnight, cover them with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap gently against the panna cotta to prevent a skin from forming.
- Be aware that preparing the panna cotta more than 24 hours in advance will result in a somewhat firmer set.
- About 10 minutes before serving, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the ramekin. Dip the ramekin briefly in a bowl of hot tap water, then carefully invert onto a serving plate.
- If the panna cotta doesn’t unmold right away, tap the ramekin lightly on the countertop to loosen it. If it still doesn’t unmold, return it to the hot water bath for another 5 seconds and repeat. Panna cotta can also be served without unmolding.
- For the topping:
- Toss strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl to combine. Let stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. VERY LIGHTLY dust panna cotta and plate with matcha powder. Spoon strawberries on top of and around the panna cotta and serve garnished with mint sprig.
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 770.29 kcal
- Sugar: 37.55 g
- Sodium: 104.44 mg
- Fat: 64.83 g
- Saturated Fat: 36.48 g
- Trans Fat: 0.02 g
- Carbohydrates: 42.71 g
- Fiber: 3.58 g
- Protein: 8.64 g
- Cholesterol: 212.94 mg
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