Satisfy your sweet tooth this summer.
By Donna Zitter Bordelon
We wouldn’t have custard without what one cow-loving writer described as “God’s jolly cafeteria with four legs and a tail.” Custard is a dessert made with milk, eggs and sugar. Custards have many variations, and Panna Cotta, meaning cooked cream, is an Italian version. Sweet, creamy and held together with little more than a gelatin wish, Panna Cotta is easy to prepare. It can be flavored with vanilla, orange, lemon, coffee, tea or other flavors, and topped with seasonal fresh fruits or berries.
ORANGE PANNA COTTA
1 packet (.25 oz.) unflavored gelatin or 1 Tbsp.
2 Tbsp. water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
Peel from 1 orange, cut into long strips as wide as possible (avoid the white pith)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ice-Water Bath: Glass bowl larger than pot used to cook the Panna Cotta, with a handful of ice cubes and 1 cup of water.
Garnish: Sections of orange, berries, mint leaves
In a small bowl or cup, sprinkle the gelatin over the water, stir lightly, and allow to soak.
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cream, milk, sugar and orange peels. Stir continuously for a minute or two, then intermittently, making sure the sugar has dissolved.
When the mixture begins to simmer, turn off the heat, remove the orange peels, and whisk in the gelatin and vanilla.
Put the bottom of the pan into the ice-water bath and continue to whisk until the mixture is lukewarm.
Ladle into small cups and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Add garnish when ready to serve.
The following recipe, baked in an 8×8-inch pan, makes its own layer of custard inside while baking.
VANILLA CUSTARD CAKE
½ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled (set aside)
2 cups milk, lukewarm (warm for 1 minute in the microwave)
1¼ cups confectioners sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature, separated (whites in a small bowl)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. water
1 cup flour minus 1 Tbsp.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar until pale yellow.
Mix in the butter, vanilla and water until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour, and mix until combined.
Beat in the milk slowly until well mixed. (Batter will be very thin.)
With clean beaters, beat the whites until stiff mounds form, and stir/fold/whisk them into the batter, not totally incorporating them. Small white parts of the egg should float atop the batter.
Bake 40–55 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The center should be slightly jiggly, but firm to the touch.
Cool and refrigerate.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Eat well, live long, enjoy!
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)
Congratulations to Dan Sarrocco, who submitted the following recipe, and was chosen in a random drawing. Dan is the April winner of a $100 ShopRite gift card. He wrote that, “It’s relatively simple to prepare and has been a favorite side dish at family and friends gatherings over the years….”
2 cups rice, cooked but let rice sit a few hours before using
2 eggs, scramble in frying pan and then place in serving bowl
Add cooking oil to the frying pan and then add the following ingredients:
1 small onion, chopped
¾ of a 7 oz. can of Spam, diced, or other meat of choice
½ green pepper, chopped, if desired
Mix and stir fry the vegetables and meat for about 10 minutes.
Add the cooked rice to the vegetables and meat and mix.
At this point, the following seasonings should be added, as preferred:
Soy Sauce (Not too much!)
Add previously cooked eggs and some chopped scallions.
Mix with other ingredients until frying is complete.
Serves 4–6 people. Enjoy!
The recipe submissions have been wonderful. Please remember to include exact measurements in your recipes. You could be May’s lucky winner. Send your recipe to:
c/o Northeast Times
2 Executive Campus
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com.
Please include your name, home address and telephone number. ••