Mandarins are looking great this time of the year and this recipe is perfect for a casual dinner party and can be made completely in advance with only the plating required to serve it up. This means less time in the kitchen and more time socializing with your friends. For a brief video of me making the dish head over to my Instagram page www.instagram.com/macleanfraser/ and to get more info on citrus fruit, when they’re in season and industry news head to www.citrus.co.nz/ or check out their Instagram and Facebook pages www.instagram.com/lovenzcitrus/ www.facebook.com/LoveNZCitrus/
Mandarin Panna cotta with Poached Mandarin
1 1/2 leaves Gelatin
4 drops Vanilla essence
2 Mandarin skins
For the Panna cotta:
Soak the gelatin leaves in some cold water for 10mins or until they’ve softened. While your gelatin is soaking peel all your mandarins making sure to keep all the skins and separate all the mandarin segments and keep separate. Put the cream, milks, sugar, vanilla essence and 2 mandarin skins into a medium sized pot and heat on the stove over a moderate heat. Once the cream mix starts to bubble at the edges turn the heat off, remove the pot from the heat and leave to infuse for 15mins. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add this to the still hot cream mix and stir so that the gelatin is dissolved. Pass the mix through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove the mandarin skins. You can place the bowl over ice to cool the mix down to room temp quickly or since this is a small amount you can just pout the mix into 4 small molds or ramekins and place in the fridge to set. This will take at least a couple of hours and if fine to do a day or two in advance.
For the Poached Mandarins:
Place the sugar, water and remaining 2 mandarin skins into a pot and heat over a moderate heat on the stove until it starts to boil. Let it boil for one minute and then add all the mandarin segments and remove from the heat. Once it has cooled a little transfer to a container. This can be done quite a while in advance and will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Chill down some bowls or plates that you will be serving the panna cotta on in the fridge or at least make sure they’re not warm or they will melt the panna cotta. Get a bowl of hot water (hot tap water hot enough) and dip the panna cottas in the hot water for 5-10 seconds (making sure not to get any water over the sides into the panna cotta) in order to release it from the sides of the molds. With your finger push the edge of the panna cotta a little to release it from the sides and create a bubble. Carefully tip the panna cotta out onto your plates. Serve with the poached mandarin and drizzle with some of the syrup. Garnish as you like.