From Francesca's Italian Kitchen
Ideally make this the day before serving so the panna cotta can set overnight.
- 200g unsalted butter, cold
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 vanilla pod (optional)
- 325ml cream
- 215ml milk
- 115g sugar
- 1 1/2 vanilla pods
- 3 1/2 gelatine leaves (7g), soaked in cold water
- 30ml dark rum
- 1kg fresh or frozen strawberries, tops removed if fresh
- 200g caster sugar
- 200ml water
- juice of 1 lemon
- about 5 gelatine leaves (10g)
- Limoncello Strawberries
- 1 punnet fresh strawberries, tops removed, cut in half lengthways
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 3 tbsp limoncello
- fresh mint leaves (optional)
To make the shortbread, dice the butter and keep it cold. Place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Split the vanilla pod down the middle lengthways, if using, and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the flour mixture. Using your fingertips, rub all the ingredients together until a sandy consistency forms. Bring the mix together to form a dough, but don’t overwork it. Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll out to 1cm thick. Transfer to a baking tray, still between the baking paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours before baking. Preheat the oven to 140ÅãC. Remove the dough from the fridge and take off the top layer of baking paper. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, sprinkle caster sugar over. We break the shortbread into shards to serve with the panna cotta, but if you prefer you can use a biscuit cutter to make more uniform shortbread. Do this before you refrigerate the dough. Stored in an airtight container in the pantry, any leftover shortbread will keep for 1 week.
To make the panna cotta, in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, warm the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla to nearboiling. Remove from the heat. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the milk mixture with the rum. Whisk to dissolve the gelatine. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cool over ice for about 10 minutes until thickened. Divide among serving glasses and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
To make the strawberry jelly, put all the ingredients into a heavybased saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through muslin or a fine sieve. Discard the fruit. Measure the liquid that you strained off – for every 100ml of liquid you will need one leaf of gelatine. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes to soften, then squeeze out the excess water. Return the liquid to the stove over a low heat and keep warm. Whisk in the squeezed gelatine and pour into a lined baking tray. Set in the fridge for 2 hours. Once set, roughly chop the jelly and put into a tub in the fridge. Any leftover jelly will keep for 5 days in the fridge. To make the limoncello strawberries, toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and transfer to the fridge to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
To serve, remove the panna cotta from the fridge. Top with enough jelly to cover and then some of the macerated strawberries. Garnish with the mint, if using, and serve alongside some of the shortbread