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I’m a big fan of panna cotta– you can make it ahead, you don’t have to bake it, and it’s creamy and delicious. There’s an infinite variety of ways you can make it, and this version layers a vanilla bean panna cotta with a pomegranate gelatin (homemade jello, of you will). The original recipe I used for the panna cotta made it a little too….gelatinous….so I’ve reduced the amount of gelatin to make it a creamier consistency. Nothing better than vanilla creamy custard! (I know it’s not a custard because it doesn’t have eggs, but it feels the same to me…)

Vanilla Panna Cotta

1 packet unflavored gelatin

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup sugar

Over a double boiler, dissolve the sugar in the milk and heavy cream. Slice the vanilla bean along the length and scrape out the vanilla. Put the vanilla and the pod in the milk mixture and let steep for 10 minutes. The double boiler should be just barely on, you want to keep the mixture warm but not simmering. Add the gelatin, making sure it dissolves and then remove from heat. Strain through a sieve to remove the vanilla pod and any lumps. Pour into your vessels, preferably glass so you can see the layers! Refrigerate for several hours, until they have solidified.

Pomegranate Gelatin

1 packet gelatin

2 cups pomegranate juice, room temperature

2 tablespoons sugar, to taste

Combine the ingredients, making sure the sugar dissolves. Depending on your pomegranate juice, you may need more or less sugar. This is the time to get creative, if you want to add other flavors, go ahead!

Pour the pomegranate gelatin over the panna cotta, creating two layers. Place in the refrigerator again for a couple hours and it will solidify.

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