Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate

Autumn Dessert Gluten Free Recipes Refined Sugar Free

Vegan Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate | The Floured Kitchen

This light and creamy coconut milk panna cotta, made with agar, is the perfect finish to a cosy Autumnal dinner. You can serve them in little jars or un-mould them onto plates with the pears, pomegranate and jasmine-pear syrup served alongside.

 

It's May! Which means Autumn is in full swing. Or at least the produce part of it is. The weather has been perfect – there's a little chill in the air, but with the sun shining warmly everyday and blue skies and fluffy clouds it really just feels like Spring weather.

 

It's that in between that you just can't beat. Blanket covered snuggles on the lounge, hands wrapped around warm mugs of hot chocolate and the burnished colours of Autumn. But also beach walks in the sunshine, flowery dresses and picnics (at least the picnics happen in my head, every day I say "It's perfect picnic weather!", and yet, truth be told, there has yet to be a picnic… it's time to up my game).

 

There's also this panna cotta. In between all the imaginary picnics, the beach walks, the lounge snuggles while bingeing how to get away with murder and the burger making of yesterweek (a snapshot of my current internal monologue – yesterweek? is that a thing? yesteryear is a thing. so why not yesterweek? though no one even says yesteryear anyway. they should), I finally managed to perfect my panna cotta. The secret – blending the final mixture before pouring it into moulds!

 

 

 

Vegan Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate | The Floured Kitchen

 

I tested this panna cotta recipe way too many times; the internet is rife with all manner of varying agar powder amounts for vegan panna cotta (agar: a vegan kind of gelatin thing made from seaweed, it doesn't taste like seaweed though promise!), I was at a loss at where to begin. I ended up having to throw out at least 3 batches because they were so god damn hard. Like you could throw those things against a wall and they would hold together. Ugh.

 

I slowly worked my way down to just 1/2 tsp. of agar, then I needed to perfect the technique. Some recipes called for boiling the coconut milk mixture for a few minutes to set the agar, I tried this a few times, but each time the mixture was just kind of a weird grainy mess. It just didn't need to boil! I brought my mix just to the point of simmering and then took it off the heat. Almost perfect. It was soft, but it was still a little grainy and missing that perfectly creamy texture. So I tried throwing it in the blender before setting it.

 

I do this for my vegan ice-creams as coconut milk fat can separate and become hard when chilled, giving the ice-cream a grainy texture. Blending emulsifies the fat so you can skip the graininess! So i figured this would apply here too. Also, the agar was doing this weird thing when it set, the texture was just off to me. I remembered that in Amy Chaplin's wonderful book At Home In The Whole Food Kitchen , Amy blends some of her agar recipes before allowing them to set for a creamier texture. I thought it might work in this case too, and I was right!

 

Blending the mix before setting it whizzes all of that agar up and blends it perfectly with the coconut milk, making the final result creamy, light and melt in your mouth like traditional panna cotta. It just holds together when un-moulded and is all perfectly wobbly and shiny like panna cotta should be.

 

I'm going to test this out with homemade almond-macadamia milk next time as a variation. I think it will be a winner! The coconut cream used here is so lovely and rich though (but still light!), it replaces the traditional dairy like magic. The jasmine tea poached pears are floral and sweet and complement the light panna cotta oh so well. A little vibrance and crunch from the pomegranate rounds the dessert out nicely.

 

You can obviously play around with the topping to suit what you have on hand, and the season. For those of you in Spring, orange roasted rhubarb like I served with my crème brûlée's in this post would be perfect. Or just a handful of berries left to marinate with a little maple, the leftover vanilla bean pod, a splash of lemon juice and a crack of black pepper (to bring out the berries berry-ness!). 

 

 

 

Vegan Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate | The Floured Kitchen

Vegan Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate | The Floured Kitchen

 

If you give these pretty little panna cotta('s?!) a try, let me know how they go in the comments! Or take a photo and share it with me on insta so I can see! #theflouredkitchen @theflouredkitchen  Hope you love them as much as I do :)

 

xx

 

 

 

 

Vegan Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate | The Floured Kitchen

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Jasmine Tea Poached Pears + Pomegranate

Yield 4 panna cotta

vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, cane-sugar free option

 

This light and creamy coconut milk panna cotta, made with agar, is the perfect finish to a cosy Autumnal dinner. You can serve them in little jars or un-mould them onto plates with the pears, pomegranate and jasmine-pear syrup served alongside. 

 

Feel free to play around with the accompaniment to suit your taste and the season – berries or roasted rhubarb would be perfect if pears are not in season! 

 

Poached pears + pomegranate topping inspired by and adapted from The Bojon Gourmet.

Ingredients

panna cotta

  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk if you can't find coconut cream)
  • 1/2 tsp. agar powder 
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • tiny pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean

for the pears

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tbsp loose leaf jasmine tea flowers
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar*
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
  • the vanilla pod leftover from making the panna cotta
  • little pinch of salt
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 2 medium-large firm pears (such as beurre bosc), peeled, cored & quartered

to serve

  • pomegranate arils, from about 1/2 a pomegranate

Instructions

for the panna cotta

  1. Place the coconut cream, agar powder, maple and sea salt in a small saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean pod with a knife (reserve the pod for cooking the pears) and give the mix a good whisk to incorporate. 
  2. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until the agar has dissolved and the mixture is just about to begin simmering. 
  3. Pour into a blender and blend for about 1 minute on high speed (don't skip this step – it's key for a perfectly creamy texture!). Divide the mix equally into 4 serving jars or moulds and scoop any froth off the top. Chill the panna cotta in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.

for the pears

  1. Pour the boiling water over the jasmine tea leaves in a large measuring jug. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain into a wide pan with high sides. Add the sugar, wine, vanilla pod & pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. 
  2. Add the pears and lemon juice to the pan (the liquid should just cover the pears – if not, add a little more boiling water as needed). Simmer until the pears are just tender but still holding their shape, about 10 minutes or so, turning the pears over halfway through cooking.
  3. Remove the pears using a slotted spoon and let cool on a plate. Cut into large pieces to serve.
  4. Simmer the pear cooking syrup over medium-high heat until thick, syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup. Let cool.

to serve

  1. Remove the panna cotta from the fridge, if you'd like to un-mould them, run a thin knife around the edge first before loosening (you can also dip the moulds in hot water), then invert onto a plate and jiggle the mould to loosen it. Otherwise just keep them as is in the serving jar. Serve the panna cotta with the pears, a scattering of pomegranate arils and a little swirl of the reduced jasmine-pear syrup alongside. 

Notes

* If you'd like this to be cane sugar free, replace the sugar that the pears cook in with maple syrup, or serve the panna cotta with fresh fruit or lightly maple-sweetened fruit. 

Courses Dessert

 

 

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