Pears, Pannacotta, Wine and a Giveaway

*This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated in it. The winner is Heather with her tweet about the event! Congrats Heather!! :)*

Lavender Pannacotta with Pears in White Wine Gelee 1

I am overwhelmed by the reception that my Project Food Blog posts have been receiving. It is at once empowering and humbling; I am so grateful for your warm patronage, compliments and encouraging critique. And, to show my appreciation, I am hosting a giveaway sponsored by CSN stores, who, as you know, are purveyours of everything from dining tables to shoes to cookware. Details of the giveaway are the end of this recipe post.

I also offer you this beautiful dessert, a Lavender Pannacotta with Pears in White Wine Gelee. Desserts are perhaps the easiest to conjure up when faced with a cornucopia of fruits. Over the last few posts, I have shared some savory applications of Fall fruits and after making this and this I don't feel so guilty about moving onto the comfortably welcoming land of sweets.. :)


Pannacotta has always held a charm for me. It's elegance belies the ease and simplicity of making it.Marrying the aromatic pannacotta with the drunken fruit and alcoholic gelee was a match blessed in culinary heaven. The fruity yet acerbic wine gelee needs a balance and the pannacotta seemed the way to go. It's creaminess smooths the sharpness of the jelly and the hint of lavender rounds it all up nicely.

I am really starting to like lavender a lot. Sometime back Mr. FSK had paired it very successfully with a beautiful dorade (sea bream) and this pannacotta proved the versatile flower/herb's worth even more. The only thing to be aware of is, in my dear friend Trissa's words "If you use too much of lavender, it tastes like soap!!" LOL

Nevertheless, this is a lovely dessert that comes together effortlessly delivering a seamless harmony of flavors that burst in your mouth, igniting ever taste bud before silkily sliding down your throat! :)

Lavender Pannacotta with Pears in Wine Gelee 2

Now for the giveway. I am giving away a $45 CSN stores gift card (valid at any of their online stores to one lucky reader. The giveaway is open to US and Canadian* residents. All you have to do for a chance to win -
  1. Leave a comment on this post (with your mail address) by 11:59 pm on Oct 20, 2010, telling me what you would like to purchase from CSN.
  2. For an additional chance, tweet this giveaway, including my twitter handle - @ashafsk, and come back and leave me a seperate comment.
* There may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses (CSN only ships to the US and Canada).

Lavender Pannacotta with Pears in White Wine Gelee
(serves 4)

Lavender pannacotta

1/2 tsp dried lavender
1 cup light cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp unflavored gelatin

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold milk and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the gelatin to bloom. Meanwhile, heat the cream with the lavender and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a minute. Remove from heat and let it steep for a couple of minutes. Strain the lavender out and whisk the cold milk and gelatin into the hot cream.

Make sure the gelatin dissolves completely else there may be setting issues. Divide the mixture into 4 dessert bowls and refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before proceeding to the next step.

Pears in White Wine Gelee

2 Pears sliced thin horizontally, using mandolin or by hand
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 T sugar
3/4 tsp gelatin

Bloom the gelatin in cold white wine. Bring the water and sugar to a boil and mix with the wine-gelatin mixture. Refrigerate the mixture for about 15 minutes to cool it but before it starts to set. If you are too late just zap it in microwave for 30 seconds and cool it down again.

When the pannacotta has set, arrange the pears over it and pour the cooled wine mixture to just cover the pears. Refrigerate for atleast 3 hours to let the whole dessert set.