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Panna Cotta with Figs

It has been a hot! hot! hot! week in New York. When is this hot I don’t even want to eat, all I want to do is nibble on cherry tomatoes and eat watermelon all day. 
I have been waiting all summer for figs (from my backyard tree). I went to check on them again and finally I collected about 9oz of perfectly ripe figs! Enough to make panna cotta with fig compote for 6.  
I love, love, love panna cotta. Such a simple dessert to make, plus it’s one of those do-ahead-of-time desserts for a dinner party and you could have different toppings for your guests to choose from, it makes it fun.  

2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 pod of vanilla
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1oz pack of gelatin dissolved in
3 tablespoons of cold water

Dissolve the gelatin in 3 tablespoons of cold water, for about 10 minutes. Place the cream, vanilla bean, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin to the pan, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds, or until the gelatin is well blended with the cream. Pour the cream mixture into molds, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

For the Figs:

9oz of fresh figs
1/8 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
the juice of half lemon
2 tablespoons your favorite liquor

Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stir occasionally. Be careful, we don’t want all the liquid to dry out. Let cool and serve on top of the chilled panna cotta.

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