Oh, hello again. My family has a hectic November and December. My mother’s birthday kicks it off and then, in quick succession, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, my birthday, Christmas, New Years, and, just when you think you can stop thinking about who needs a present and a baked good, my father’s birthday. There’s been a lot of sugar.
There have also been an unfortunate number of gluten-free cookies that ended up in the trash for being hard as rocks and flavorless (what am I getting wrong with Buckwheat?) or for utterly collapsing in the oven (did this recipe really work for everyone else?). There were some very good pies and also some kind of disappointing ones. My uncle, mother, and I spent an evening crafting pigs out of marzipan. The pigs show up annually in our Christmas stocking so joining the pig molding party felt a bit like being given the keys to Santa’s workshop (yay, I’m a grown up…crap, I’m a grown up).
Amidst all the sugary baked goods, I discovered this.
My birthday came a mere four days after Thanksgiving this year and I didn’t feel up for more baked goods so instead I made this Smitten Kitchen Panna Cotta (I topped it with pomegranate seeds and rose sugar instead of honey and walnuts, but I’m sure the original is excellent too.) Since, I also had the flu on my birthday this turned out to be an excellent decisions. There were a few days, when all my throat or stomach could stand was creamy, yogurty, panna cotta.
Despite, having eaten it for a week straight, I loved that panna cotta more than all the cookies, pies, and cakes that piled up around us all month. I decided that I could update it for Christmas dinner into something a little more decadent, but still refreshing. I swapped the greek yogurt for strained goat yogurt, which has a creamier tang. I stirred in orange zest and candied ginger and a few tablespoons of orange juice. We made a pitcher of ginger syrup to go on the side. In the end, I think, it’s really the perfect holiday dessert because when you eat it for breakfast the next morning you feel both indulgent and virtuous all at once.
I plan to make it a Christmas tradition so I’ll be making it again next year. But, if you don’t want to wait that long, I think you could feel justified making this dessert, even in January. And, if you are looking for something to serve on New Years–in the evening or for brunch–I think this would work well.
I forgot to take a good picture before we dug in, so let this well-cleaned plate stand for how delicious it was.