I haven't been exactly shy about declaring my love for avocados. They're among the few foods so compelling that I can't keep them around without thinking about them all the time. If they're on the premises, they're in my thoughts. Obsessive? Maybe. But I don't feel guilty.
The thing about avocados is that for being such a seductive piece of fruit, they're also darn coy, a little difficult, kind of high-maintenance. They have much to offer the one who's willing to invest the proper care. That incredible texture ~ like silk, buttery and enigmatic on the tongue. The color ~ edible spring uncoiling into summer. And the bittersweet nature of its fleeting beauty . . . an avocado hungrily stripped becomes very quickly something no one wants to love.
So, what presents itself is the problem of maximizing all these virtues and avoiding the fatal flaw . . . but how? I present my latest effort toward this end . . .
Avocado Panna Cotta with Mango Gelee
- 2 grams unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 Haas avocado
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup mango juice
- 4 g gelatin
- Make the Avocado Panna Cotta: In a small bowl, stir the 2 grams of gelatin into 1 tablespoon of the milk; let stand.
- Combine remaining milk, cream, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the scald. Add bloomed gelatin mixture to scalded milk, remove from heat, and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Puree avocado with lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. (I use an immersion blender; you can also use a canister blender, a food mill, or a food processor to do this.) Do not puree the avocado until you are ready to add it to the scalded cream ~ it will brown fairly rapidly once it's exposed to the air.
- Whisk avocado puree into scalded cream mixture. Strain through a chinois or fine sieve and pour into serving glasses. Chill until set, about 4 hours.
- Make the Mango Gelee: In a small bowl, stir 4 grams gelatin into 1/4 cup of the mango juice; let stand. Heat the remaining 3/4 cup mango juice just to a boil. Add the bloomed gelatin to the pot, remove from heat, and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let the gelee mixture cool until it is lukewarm.
- Remove the set Avocado Panna Cottas from the refrigerator. Slowly pour the lukewarm Mango Gelee on top of each panna cotta, dividing the gelee evenly among the panna cottas. Carefully return the panna cottas to the refrigerator to set, about 2 to 3 hours. Enjoy!