Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
I have really been into making panna cotta recently. It is such a wonderful dessert for the hot summer weather, when the sultry days melt into warm evenings. On these nights I crave something light, elegant, and refreshing—and panna cotta fits the bill exactly!
It has a refined and subtle flavor, and the creamy and silky interior makes it a wonderful joy to eat. In this watermelon version, the sweetness of the sugar helps to accentuate the watermelon, and the fruity combination is lovely. Watermelon is my mother's favorite fruit, and so it is definitely something that she appreciates, especially since this recipe enables one to make use of even relatively low-quality watermelon!
Somewhat surprisingly, I have found that panna cotta is exceptionally easy to make: just a simple process of combining some milk with gelatin, heating up cream and flavorings, pouring in the milk, some vanilla, and voilà! All you have to do is cool and set it, and it's ready to eat.
Since we haven't had any whipped cream on hand, I've enjoyed putting powdered sugar and various fruits on top. I've been adding blueberries, but I'm sure that any host of fruits, banana, strawberries, maybe even just some sliced watermelon, would go wonderfully with it.
I based this recipe on my honeydew panna cotta recipe.
- 2 cups watermelon
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 package gelatin
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cut a watermelon into slices or in half. Using a spoon, scoop out watermelon flesh until you have around 2 cups. Put it into a blender and purée until smooth.
- Put milk and gelatin in a small bowl and allow to set.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, heat the cream, watermelon purée, and the sugar until it begins to boil. Then add in the milk, and over medium heat continue to cook until it starts to boil again. Then remove from heat.
- Add in vanilla extract into the liquid, and then pour it into 6 ramekins. Allow the ramekins to cool to room temperature, before putting them into a refrigerator, covered with something on top. Cool for at least 4 hours and up until overnight, this will allow them to set. Don't allow the covering to brush up against them as this will prevent full setting.
- Serve either plain or with toppings like whipped cream, powdered sugar, or fruit garnishes.