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Panna Cotta with Pomelo Syrup and Candied Pomelo Rind

Yield: 8 servings

For the Panna Cotta:

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. neutral vegetable oil or soft butter, for the molds

For the candied rind and the syrup:

  • 1 Pomelo
  • 2 cups plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. sweet Vermouth

Start the Panna Cotta first so it has time to set (2 hours or more). Combine gelatin and milk in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside. Combine cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin and milk mixture until it is dissolved. Pour into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and cool to room temperature (it’s OK to speed this part up by placing the bowl over an ice water bath and stirring until luke-warm, but don’t chill to the point it starts to set).

Lightly butter or oil eight custard cups or ramekins, and divide the cooled cream evenly between them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at lest 2 hours. To unmold, have a pan of hot tap water handy, and briefly dip the bottom of each cup to loosen the contents. Turn out on to a plate. Garnish with the sauce and rind.

Make the candied rind and the sauce: Using a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the yellow rind from the pomelo. leaving as much of the pith behind as possible. Cut the peel into long thin strips. Place these in a small heavy saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, strain and repeat once more. This will get the bitterness out.

Measure 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar into the pot, and bring to a simmer. Add the pomelo rind and simmer until the it turns translucent and the liquid is syrupy. Strain, saving the syrup for another use.

Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Add the pomelo rind and toss to cover each sliver with sugar. Let cool. Store in a zip lock bag or glass jar.

Meanwhile, cut the white pith away from the fruit of the pomelo. Discard the pith and cut the segments (“supremes”) of flesh away from the membrane. Do this over a bowl, to catch any juice that drips. Squeeze all the juice from the remaining membrane into the bowl. Add juice and pulp to a pot, along with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until the mixture is reduced by 1/2. Add the sweet vermouth. Cook for a few more minutes, until the sauce is the consistency of maple syrup. Remove from the burner and set aside until ready to serve. If the sauce gets too thick, thin it with a little bit of water before using.