Lemony Panna Cotta
Lightly spray six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the cream and milk. Using the tip of a small, sharp paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the scraped pod. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon zest. Cover and let the milk mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small mixing bowl and discard the solids. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
Combine the lemon juice and gelatin in a small mixing bowl and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 10 minutes.
Add the gelatin mixture and the sugar to the cream mixture in the saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the gelatin and sugar are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cr╦me fraiche.
Carefully divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins or custard cups. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to serve, run the paring knife around the edge of each custard. Carefully dip the bottom of each ramekin into a medium bowl filled with hot water for 15 to 20 seconds to loosen the custard, but keep your fingers out of the hot water! Place a small dessert plate onto the top of the ramekin. While holding the plate and ramekin together, invert both, shaking gently to help release the custard from the ramekin onto the plate.
Serve with the Blueberry Sauce spooned over the top.
Yield: 6 servings
Combine blueberries, strips of lemon zest, sugar, and 1/2 cup of water in a medium saucepan. Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place a wire-mesh strainer over a medium mixing bowl and pour the blueberry mixture into the strainer. Using a wooden spoon, gently mash the blueberries to release all of the liquid, discarding the skins when done. Pour the sauce back into the saucepan.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water, whisking until smooth.
Pour the cornstarch mixture into the blueberry sauce, whisking or stirring to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and allow to boil for 1 minute.
Remove the sauce from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Serve with the Lemony Panna Cotta.
Yield: 1 1/4 servings