Kuri Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pomegranates

Yield: 6 servings


2 tbsp. water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup pureed pumpkin
7 tbsp. sugar
2 cups reduced fat buttermilk (2%)
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Kuri (Japanese chestnuts) roasted, peeled and diced  into ½ inch cubes
2 cups ½-inch cubes peeled assorted fruits (mango, papaya, kiwi)
1 cup pomegranate seeds, outer shells removed


Pour 2 tablespoons water into small custard cup; sprinkle unflavored gelatin on top. Let stand until gelatin softens, approximately 10 minutes.

Combine pureed pumpkin and sugar in heavy medium saucepan; stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and mixture is smooth. Cool mixture to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

Stir buttermilk and vanilla extract into pumpkin-sugar mixture. Pour mixture through a sieve into a quart measuring cup. Divide mixture among six 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins. Refrigerate until panna cotta is set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Run thin sharp knife around sides of each panna cotta to loosen. One at a time, place bottom of each custard cup in 1 inch of hot water 30 to 45 seconds; then quickly invert custard cup onto plate. Using both hands, firmly grasp custard cup and plate together, shaking gently and allowing panna cotta to slip out of mold and settle onto plate. Place a spoonful of the chestnuts and pomegranate mixture on top of each panna cotta and serve.