Panna Cotta and Exotic Fruit in Lilikoi-Apricot Sauce
A simple dessert of molded cream topped with fruit becomes exotic when the fruits are Hawaiian and lilikoi (passion fruit) turns up in the sauce. The mild citrus taste of the panna cotta and the cinnamon-flavored sauce blend well with many fruits. The recipe is easily adapted to whatever fruits are at their peak in your market. Passion fruit puree may be found in the frozen food section in many markets.
- Lilikoi-Apricot Sauce
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Clove - 1
- Vanilla bean - 1/2, split lengthwise
- Cinnamon Stick - 1
- Apricots - 3, peeled, pitted, and diced
- Lilikoi pulp or puree - 1/4 cup
- Panna Cotta
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2-1/2 cups
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2-1/2 tablespoons
- Vanilla bean - 1, split lengthwise
- Lemon zest - 1 tablespoon, grated
- Plain gelatin - 1/2 envelope (1/2 teaspoon)
- Cold Water - 2 tablespoons
- Cointreau - 3 tablespoons
- Hawaiian Fruits
- Mango - 1, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- Papaya - 1, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- Pineapple - 1, peeled, cored, and cubed
- Banana - 1, peeled and sliced
- Lychees - 12, peeled
- Fresh mint sprigs - 4
To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, clove, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the apricots and lilikoi and simmer over low heat until the apricots are tender. When cooked, blend the sauce until smooth with a stick blender or in a processor or blender, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to chill.
To make the panna cotta: In a small saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, butter, vanilla bean, and lemon zest over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes to infuse the flavors. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let set for 3 minutes to soften. Add the Cointreau and gelatin mixture to the infused cream, whisking well to combine. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Pour an equal amount into each of 4 dessert bowls. Place in the refrigerator until set.
To serve: In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the sauce. Arrange the fruit attractively on top of each bowl of panna cotta. Garnish each with a sprig of mint.