Perfectly pious pannacotta
Serves 4. Preparation time 30 minutes. Cooking time 20 minutes (plus 1 hour resting).
- 1 orange
- 1 vanilla pod
- 300ml soya milk (unsweetened)
- 150ml soya cream
- 1 ½ tsp Vege-gel
- 55g caster sugar
- 6 large purple plums (approx 400g), not too ripe
- 150ml vegetarian port (eg. crusted)
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- To garnish
- ½ orange, fine strips of zest only
- 1 vanilla pod
- Blanch the whole orange briefly in boiling water to remove the bitter taste of the skin. Then grate the zest and squeeze the juice (keep separate).
- Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and reserve seeds. Add the pod to the soya milk and bring to just below boiling point. Stir regularly to avoid milk sticking to the pan. Take off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 1 hour, before straining into a jug.
- Whisk the Vege-gel into the soya cream with a fork or small whisk. Place in a small saucepan and add a good pinch of orange zest, the vanilla seeds, 40g sugar and infused soya milk.
- Heat gently and keep whisking lightly until the mixture reaches boiling point. Then pour into 4 ramekins or pudding moulds. Allow to cool and then chill for 1 hour.
- Cut the plums into quarters, removing the stones. Place the plums in a large saucepan with 1 tsp grated orange zest, the reserved orange juice, 15g caster sugar, the port and spices. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-4 minutes, so that the plums have softened very slightly but still hold their shape. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Drain the cooking liquid from the plums and reduce by half in a small saucepan until slightly syrupy.
- To serve: place the pannacotta on a plate with 3 plum quarters. Drizzle the port syrup over the plums and it will also encircle the pannacotta. Add strips of orange zest and a fresh vanilla pod.