Monday, 3 February 2014

Celebrating stone fruit

THE abundance of locally-grown stone fruit available at this time of year excites me.
 In particular, I love a plump, juicy nectarine and quite frankly I prefer to eat them alone so no-one can see the juices running down my face.
My one year-old lad has no such issue; he can demolish a nectarine in record time before launching the seed at me with gusto - as if I was the one who put the hard, useless thing in the middle of his delicious snack.
After managing to snag a few nectarines from his keen eye for my own consumption, I decided to make them even more of a treat and create a cool and creamy dessert perfect for these warm summer evenings.
Pannacotta is a fantastic summer dessert and this one is relatively healthy, well it is until you drizzle it with saucey caramelised nectarines – but that’s why it’s called a treat!
It’s a lovely combination, with a hint of coconut and vanilla and a good balance of sweetness.
The pannacotta itself works so well with a variety of toppings, berry coulis is another favourite, particularly good served with shavings of white chocolate.

Pannacotta with Caramelised Nectarines

¾ cup coconut milk
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons gelatine powder
400g Greek yoghurt
2-3 fresh nectarines, sliced
75g butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Grease four moulds or ramekins with oil or line with cling film.
Place milks in a saucepan with vanilla bean paste and gently bring to the boil. Sprinkle over gelatine and whisk until dissolved.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Whisk in yoghurt until smooth and pour into prepared moulds, covering with cling film. Place in fridge for four hours or until set.
Combine butter, brown sugar and milk in a saucepan over low to medium heat until dissolved. Add sliced nectarines to coat (should be glossy).
Allow sauce to cool.
When set, turn out pannacottas onto plates (dip the bottom of the moulds quickly into hot water if necessary) and top with nectarines and sauce.