I have been on a panna cotta kick lately so when I was asked to create a recipe that uses Bonne Maman Red Current Jelly in a non-traditional way, my mind went right back to where it had been. Panna cotta, this time amaretto flavour!
I love Bonne Maman products because they bring me back to the days where my late mother would prepare her fresh fruit preserves. To this day, I have not tasted jam that was quite like hers but Bonne Maman products are pretty darn close. They start with great quality ingredients and keep the ingredient list simple – most of their preserves and spreads have 5 ingredients or less. They only use all natural ingredients as well with no artificial colourings, no additives and no preservatives so the taste is very traditional and pure.
Bonne Maman preserves and spreads are also made in France by a family-owned company – how sweet is that?! The packaging is simple and reminiscent of homemade preserves that brings me a feeling of nostalgia every time I buy a jar. The jars are also really beautiful so when I’m done my jam I wash and save them for another use like holding dried herbs or other pantry ingredients.
I love using Bonne Maman spreads and preserves on my breads and baked goods – they are perfect for that but this great product is versatile and I’m going to show you how this is true. Back to the Red current jelly. This particular jelly is very similar in flavour to a grape jelly except currents are a slightly tangier. I decided to pair this panna cotta with almonds, immediately, because I thought they would be perfect to balance the flavours of the red current jelly. Bonne Maman jellies are made from juices of fruits and the texture is uniform, clear and firm making it a beautiful added layer on a panna cotta.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can swap out the red current jelly, If you wish, and substitute it with Bonne Maman’s other preserves, like some of my other favourites, blueberry or peach jam. Here’s a great entertaining tip, have a bunch of preserves set out and let your guests choose which preserve they want to pair with their panna cotta! A panna cotta bar! I bet that hasn’t been done before!
I wanted my jelly layers to look uniform and perfect – as a food stylist I take great pride in presenting beautiful desserts and of course I want them to taste amazing too. For this recipe, I warmed up the jam on the stove and then funneled a layer into the bottom of the mini dessert cups and put them into the refrigerator so that the layer would be firm and smooth.
Panna cotta is one of those special desserts that you bring out at a fancy dinner party. The presentation is always impressive but the process is really simple and one recipe serves a lot of people – My recipe below makes eight mini dessert cups! Panna cotta is creamy and decadent but light at the same time so it acts as the perfect end to a nice meal.
I’ve given you a recipe for almond praline as well so that you can add a little cluster on top of your panna cotta to give some added texture as well as flavour.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you try a panna cotta bar at your next party, please let me know how your guests liked it!
- Amaretto panna cotta:
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons gelatine
- 2¼ cups heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup Amaretto
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- 1 jar (1 cup) Bonne Maman Red Current Jelly, divided (See recipe for food styling tip)
- Alternate option: Bonne Maman Blueberry or peach jam
- 3 cups (750 ml) slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) butter
- 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
- Prepare your mini dessert cups: Put half cup of the red current jelly in a small saucepot over medium heat and melt it down until it is liquid (about 5 minutes). Using a small funnel, add about 1 tablespoon of the heated jelly into each of your 8 mini dessert cups. Put the cups into the refrigerator and let the jelly re-set (about 1 hour).
- Prepare the Panna Cotta: Place the Amaretto in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir to mix, and set aside to soften 2 to 3 minutes.
- Half-fill a large bowl with ice and add enough water to make an ice bath and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Remove from heat, and whisk in the softened gelatin and Amaretto mixture along with the almond extract.
- Set the saucepan in the ice bath, and whisk until the mixture is at room temperature.
- Strain the mixture into a large measuring cup or bowl with a pouring spout.
- Place the bowl in the ice bath and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the mixture into the glasses with the layer of red current jelly and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Make the Praline clusters: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Heat a large heavy frying pan over medium heat, then add the almonds. Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until almonds are warmed.
- Stir in the butter to coat the almonds. Then stir in the sugar mixed with the salt. Continue stirring frequently lifting with a metal spatula and graduate to constant stirring near end of cooking time. This takes 12 to 15 minutes or until sugar melts and turns a rich caramel colour.
- Remove from the heat; turn on to the parchment paper immediately and spread out the almonds. Be careful – the mixture is very hot. Cool and break apart into small clusters. Store in an airtight container for a week or more.
- Assemble and serve your Panna Cotta: Once the panna cotta is set, spoon on 1 tablespoon of the red current jelly on top of each dessert cup and garnish with a mint leaf. Serve cold. Serve with almond praline clusters on the side as an optional mix-in.
*I have been compensated monetarily as well as provided the product, however, and as always, all opinions are my own.