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Thanksgiving Desserts: Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta

thanksgiving dessertsAmidst a season of pumpkin pies and decadent cakes, it’s often tough to find gluten-free options. But although I’m lucky enough to tolerate gluten, some of my favorite desserts just happen to be gluten-free. I don’t miss it when it’s gone, particularly when I have a cool and creamy bowl of panna cotta in front of me. An Italian gelled cream, panna cotta is one of the simplest desserts you can make; it take under ten minutes to stir together, kids love to help out, and it requires no oven space. You can make it ahead – chill it in individual ramekins, teacups or wine glasses – and need only pull it out when it’s time for dessert. After a heavy meal, a cool, creamy panna cotta is very welcome. (I’ll save the pie for breakfast.)

Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta

3 cups half and half or 18% coffee cream
1 package plain unflavored gelatin
1/2-1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch cinnamon

Pour about a cup of the cream into a medium pot and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to let the gelatin soften.

Set the pot over medium heat and stir, bringing it to a simmer, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. This should take 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the rest of the cream, the pumpkin and honey or maple syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.

Pour the mixture into individual wine glasses, small dishes or ramekins. (If you want to unmold them onto a plate to serve them, spray the ramekins with nonstick spray first.) Put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until set. Serves 6.

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