Pizzeria Seven Twelve’s buttermilk panna cotta

2 1/2 c cream
1 c sugar
2 vanilla beans
6 sheets gelatin
4 c buttermilk

Lightly grease 12 3/4-cup (6-fl oz/180-ml) ramekins or custard cups and set on a small baking sheet.

Pour one-third of the buttermilk into a saucepan and drop in gelatin sheets*. Let sit until the gelatin softens and swells, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining milk and the sugar and set the saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Do not let the liquid boil. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the cream. Scrape the beans from the vanilla pod into the cream and add vanilla pod. Gently stir until blended. Remove the vanilla pod and scrape any remaining seeds into mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and firm, at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Up to 2 hours before serving, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Run a small kitchen towel under very hot water. Ring out the excess water. Fold the hot towel in half and lay it on the countertop. Place the ramekins on the towel to help release the bottoms. Carefully run a thin knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the custard. Invert and unmold each custard onto a small, flat serving plate. Drizzle with coulis, if desired, and scatter fruit over the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Note: Gelatin is a thickener derived from animal protein. Soften gelatin in small amounts of water, in preparation, to help it dissolve evenly when combined with the rest of the ingredients in a recipe. Once softened, combine it with more liquid and warm it to activate thickening. Do not let gelatin boil, or it will not set. Finally, cool the mixture to let the gelatin take effect.