May 16 2016

Something Like Summer, Flavored With Fruit Juice: Recipe Revamp: Cherry and Raspberry Low Sugar, Low Fat, Panna Cotta





Summer is only 35 days away. Berries and cherries are not quite here for the season yet either, but they will be soon. To get excited about summer, I’ve headed to my kitchen to prepare a duet of fruit-flavored, low-sugar, panna cotta, using light fruit juice while I wait for a new season and for its fruit.  To make these recipes healthy and yummy, I replaced the heavy ingredients typically found in these custards and created two delicious recipes that you can enjoy and feel feel fit to lead.
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Instead of whole milk, heavy cream, and sugar, I’ve used skim milk, fat-free half-and-half, and stevia with just a splash of light fruit juice for a light, refreshing, springtime dessert to welcome the coming of summer. To finish, I made glazes using light fruit juice and sugar-free simple syrup, with cherry and raspberry on top.

Tales from the test kitchen

I experimented using skim and fat free half and half, fat free half and half and half and kefir and a mix of skim and skim and kefir with fat free half and half.  I had high hopes for kefir, imagining a richer texture than with skim but it didn’t boil well, even when it was only half the mixture. It also didn’t lend itself well to this particular recipe as it also separated from the juice, creating a jello layer and leaving a quite not fully formed custard layer. It looked pretty but it was mealy and it was not what I wanted. Skim and fat-free half-and-half gave the creamiest, silkiest custard.

What you’ll need

These are easy, fun recipes, and the only special equipment you’ll need is a silicone mold, you can use a muffin sheet, or six ramekins.  You’ll need two pots — one small and one medium. A squeeze bottle helps but any small container you can pour from will work for the sauce.

The recipes
Cherry Panna Cotta and Raspberry Panna Cotta

1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons cold light cherry juice

1 cup skim milk

2 cups fat-free half-and-half

1/3 cup truvia

2 teaspoons cherry extract

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over juice in a small pot. When it is softened, heat on low until dissolved.
  2. Combine skim milk, fat free half-and-half and stevia in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to make sure the milk does not scald.
  3. When the milk mixture boils, add the cherry extract. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture.
  4. Pour into 6 ramekins. Cool.
  5. Remove to fridge, let set for at least four hours or over night.

*Repeat exactly for raspberry, substituting light raspberry juice of your choice and raspberry extract. I used Tropicana50 Raspberry Acai


Fruit Juice Glaze

3 tablespoons sugar-free simple syrup, such as Monin

3 tablespoons light juice

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon gelatin to make it a little thicker

Enjoy these fruit-inspired, light, low sugar, desserts as we wait for real produce to come into season and for summer to start!
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