Coconut Panna Cotta with Peach Coulis

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I bought half a peck of peaches at the farmer’s market last week. (Mike sent me with instructions to “buy lots of fruit.”) That was perhaps a bit too much for just the two of us. But I was in luck because I learned about a monthly vegetarian event called Veggie/Fruit a Month, and this month Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook chose peaches for the theme.

Now I only had to decide what to make with these peaches. A crisp or a crumble or a cobbler seemed too obvious. I flipped through most of my cookbooks looking for inspiration. Then in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking I saw a recipe for coconut panna cotta with summer berry coulis. Perfect.

Panna cotta means “cooked cream.” It’s an Italian dessert (I seem to be on a roll with those lately), wherein sweetened cream is mixed with gelatin and allowed to set. All manner of flavorings can be added. I changed Heidi’s recipe around a bit: nixing the cow milk in favor of all coconut, and switching the berry coulis out for peaches. But, like her recipe, I used agar flakes as Mike doesn’t eat gelatin. This works nicely though, because now it can be enjoyed by vegan and vegetarian alike. (And the meat-eaters too I suppose.) ;)

For the panna cotta:

  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon agar flakes
  • neutral tasting oil or coconut oil
  1. Mix coconut milk and agar flakes in a small saucepan. Stir well. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the agar flakes to soften. Meanwhile, lightly oil 4 small ramekins.
  2. Add the sugar and heat the mixture over medium-low heat until the milk begins to simmer. Allow to simmer for a few minutes while whisking well. Remove from heat and divide the coconut milk between the ramekins. Place ramekins in the refrigerator to cool and set.

For the peach coulis:

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh peaches plus 8 peach slices for garnish (~4 medium peaches)
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sugar (depending on how ripe your peaches are)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Place all ingredients (minus the garnish-intended peach slices) in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until peaches have released their juices and the syrup begins to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  2. Place peaches and syrup in a food processor and process until smooth. (Alternatively use a blender or immersion blender.) Move to refrigerator to cool.

When ready to serve:

  1. Spoon some of the peach coulis onto the center of a small plate.
  2. Set the bottom of a ramekin in hot water for 30-45 seconds. Run a butter knife around the edge of the ramekin. Invert the ramekin over the peach coulis and let the panna cotta slip out. (It may take a little shaking.)
  3. Top with more peach coulis and a couple peach slices for garnish.
  4. Repeat with the remaining ramekins and serve.

(Serves 4)

Heidi notes that if for some reason the agar does not completely dissolve, strain the coconut milk through a sieve and push the flakes through. Then continue to divide the mixture between the ramekins.

This was another recipe where I made this version with the pureed coulis, then decided that I wanted to try it without pureeing the peaches, then couldn’t decide which one I liked better. The panna cotta itself has a very creamy custardy mouthfeel, so pureed peaches led to a very smooth dessert. Leaving the peaches chopped adds some texture, although the peaches are still pretty soft. I should note that in both versions I peeled the peaches. I imagine if you left the skin on, you’d add more texture that way as well.

I think the recipe is also pretty adaptable in terms of flavors. I played around with infusing the coconut milk with ginger but couldn’t get the flavor to my liking. A little splash of vanilla in the coconut milk might be nice. You could play around with the flavors of the coulis too. Peach and thyme are frequently paired, maybe add a sprig of fresh thyme to the peaches while they’re cooking? Or add in some berries? Peach-blackberry coulis sounds good.

This recipe is also being shared in Slightly Indulgent TuesdayGluten-Free Wednesdays and Seasonal Sundays.

 

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


Comments

  1. lovely ! am just drooling here

  2. Ha, thanks!

  3. Kalinda, you’re amazing.

  4. I tried using agar flakes once with disastrous results. This looks amazing though, and I suspect it would really work! I’ll have to try agar flakes again for this. Thanks for the recipe! It looks pretty easy, and delicious!

  5. Oh Carolyn /blush

    Gina, I hadn’t really done much with agar flakes before, so I don’t have any words of wisdom. All I can say is that they worked.

  6. This looks so good, and I love that it’s made with coconut milk. I’ll have to look for agar flakes.

  7. I found them at Whole Foods. I don’t know if you have one near you. You can definitely find them online.

  8. Peach and coconut sound amazing together. Love that you used agar agar. I have it on hand, but made such a mess of a recipe some time ago, that it’s just sitting waiting for me to try again. This recipe gives me a lot of yummy encouragement. Thanks, Kalinda, for your AFAM contribution.

  9. This is absolutely DELICIOUS! I made it last night with Xanthan gum instead of Agar flakes and it worked wonderfully!
    Great post – THANK YOU!

  10. A nice twist on the classic panna cotta and a beautiful dessert. I am leaning towards trying agar flakes too, instead of gelatin.

  11. Susan: Apparently, you’re not the only one. I guess I got lucky.

    Melissa: I’m so glad to hear you liked it. (And that xanthan gum worked for you.)

    Simona: Here’s hoping the agar works out for you.

  12. Delicious! I love panna cotta’s! The peach coulis looks great with it!

  13. I hadn’t had too much experience with them, but I was happy with the way this one turned out.

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