Vegan panna cotta is surprisingly easy to make with just a few clever swaps and a little know how. Our simple plum recipe can be prepped in 30 minutes and will then just need time to set, perfect for a make ahead dessert if you're expecting family and friends for dinner this week. Panna cotta literally means 'cooked cream' but we've taken that not so literally with this lovely vegan versions which uses rich soya cream instead to get the silky smooth finish you'd expect.
- 1 orange
- 1 vanilla pod
- 300ml (1/2 pint) soya milk (unsweetened)
- 150ml (1/4 pint) soya cream
- 1 1/2 tsp Vege-gel
- 55g (2oz) caster sugar
- 6 large purple plums (approx 400g), not too ripe
- 150ml (1/4 pint) vegetarian port (eg. crusted)
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 orange, fine strips of zest only
- 1 vanilla pod
- Dip the whole orange briefly in boiling water to remove the bitter taste of the skin. Then grate the zest and squeeze the juice (keep separate).
- Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and reserve seeds. Add the pod to the soya milk and bring to just below boiling point. Stir regularly to avoid milk sticking to the pan. Take off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 1 hour, before straining into a jug.
- Whisk the Vege-gel into the soya cream with a fork or small whisk. Place in a small saucepan and add a good pinch of orange zest, the vanilla seeds, 40g (1 1/2 oz) sugar and infused soya milk.
- Heat gently and keep whisking lightly until the mixture reaches boiling point. Pour into 4 ramekins or pudding moulds. Allow to cool then chill for 1 hour.
- Cut the plums into quarters, removing the stones. Place the plums in a large saucepan with 1 tsp grated orange zest, the reserved orange juice, 15g (1/2oz) caster sugar, the port and spices. Bring to the boil then simmer for 3-4 mins so the plums have softened very slightly but still hold their shape. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Drain the cooking liquid from the plums and reduce by half in a small saucepan until slightly syrupy.
- Place each individual pannacotta on a plate with 3 plum quarters. Drizzle the port syrup over the plums and it will also encircle the pannacotta. Add strips of orange zest and a fresh vanilla pod.