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Joy of Baking

Saffron and cardamom panna cotta

June 2, 2010

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Serves 6

Cookbook author Alice Medrich writes that she created this panna cotta, served individually, because of an Indian rice dish she likes. She sprinkles chopped pistachios and grated cinnamon stick on top.

3 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 cardamom pods
Generous 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup whole milk
1 stick cinnamon
3 tablespoons chopped shelled unsalted pistachios
1. Have on hand 6 ramekins or custard cups.

2. In a saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, and salt, stirring occasionally, until steaming hot. Remove from the heat. Add the cardamom pods and saffron. Cover and set aside for 25 minutes.

3. In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk; set aside for 10 minutes.

4. Add the milk mixture to the cream mixture. Reheat to steaming to dissolve the gelatin. Strain into a bowl; discard the cardamom. Set the bowl over a larger bowl of ice water. Stir often until the mixture thickens (50 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

5. Divide the mixture evenly among the dishes. Set on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 4, and preferably, 12 hours.

6. On a fine grater, grate cinnamon stick over each dish. Sprinkle with pistachios.

Adapted from “Pure Dessert’’