Save room for dessert: Inspired by his grandmother’s treasured Italian recipe, chef-owner Tim Lipman of Coolinary Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens prepared this pumpkin-imbued panna cotta with a custardy mix of gelatin, brown sugar, vanilla bean, and spices, then substituted warm caramel for a decadent vanilla-bourbon sauce.
“When I was growing up, my Sicilian grandma would make a big bowl of panna cotta for all the kids. It has a special place in my heart.”
Pumpkin-Spice Panna Cotta with Ginger Snap and Pecan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 1-inch vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 2 tbs. apple-cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup quality bourbon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 oz. envelope unflavored powdered gelatin (2¼ tsp.)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbs. packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 whole vanilla-bean split and scraped
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup steamed fresh puree of pumpkin
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3-quart saucepan.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, and then drop in the bean. Stir until the sugar is wet and sandy.
- Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the sugar begins to turn golden around the edges (about 8 minutes). Swirl the pan occasionally until sugar is dark golden (3 to 5 more minutes).
- Remove from the heat. Slowly stir in apple cider, apple-cider vinegar, and bourbon, followed by a pinch of salt.
- Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small heatproof bowl. Quick-chill sauce by putting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally until cool.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (sauce will keep for 2 days).
Panna cotta directions
- In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin with water and set aside.
- Whisk the cream, milk, brown sugar, salt, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until just beginning to boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin. Whisk in the pumpkin, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or 2-quart liquid measure. Divide among six 6-oz. ramekins.
- Refrigerate until firm to the touch, covering with plastic wrap once cool (between 4 and 48 hours).
- Unmold the panna cotta by dipping the bottom of each ramekin in hot water for a few seconds and then running a paring knife around the edge all the way to the bottom to loosen it.
- Cover with a dessert plate and invert. Give it a good downward shake, then remove the ramekin.
- Top with sauce and toasted pecans, and serve.
For more Thanksgiving recipes, click here.
Photography by Libby Volgyes
Styling by Janderyn Makris, Earth and Sugar
Flowers by Flower and Fringe