Quark Vanilla Panna Cotta with Star Anise Cranberry Compote and Spiced Pecan Brittle

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?   


Quark Vanilla Panna Cotta

300g heavy cream
250g quark
75g sugar
2 sheets gelatine
1 vanilla bean, scraped and pod reserved

Start Anise Cranberry Compote

350g fresh cranberries
100 - 150 ml cranberry juice
2-5 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
1-2 whole star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 whole allspice

Spiced Pecan Brittle

250g pecans, dry roasted
4-5 tablespoons sugar
2-3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice


Quark Vanilla Panna Cotta

In a saucepan bring the sugar, cream and vanilla, including the pod, to an energetic boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approx 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat and discard the vanilla pod. Squeeze out the gelatine and dissolve in the hot cream mixture.

In a small bowl whisk the quark until smooth and creamy. First stir in 2 tablespoons quark into the warm cream mixture, then pour the cream mixture into the quark. Stir to incorporate.

Fill 6 individual serving bowls or one large bowl with the quark panna cotta. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Start Anise Cranberry Compote

In a large sauce pan add sugar, fresh cranberry and juice. Stir until ingredients have incorporated. Turn heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the spices, then reduce to medium and allow to simmer until the cranberry mixture has reduced and resembles a thick jelly-like consistency. Taste for sweetness.

Discard whole spices and set the cranberry compote aside.

Note: If making ahead the cranberry compote can be stored in sterilized jars for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Spiced Pecan Brittle

First you need to make a caramel like mixture by adding the sugar and water in a saucepan. Mix with a wooden spoon, then turn up heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the caramel turns a amber color. This will take 8-10 minutes.

Continue in medium-low heat until the mixture has reduced into a thick syrupy consistency.

Prepare a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. In a bowl large enough to hold the pecans, mix together the ground spices.

Once your caramel mixture is thick and sticky (the mixture is ready when a small amount dropping in a cup of cold water becomes brittle) add the pecans, stirring quickly to coat the nuts with the sugar. Then add the warm sugared pecans to the bowl with the spices and toss quickly. Turn out the pecans onto the waxed paper and allow to set.

Once set, coarsely chop the pecans.

Serving: If you are serving the quark panna cotta in individual bowls, once set, add a tablespoon of cranberry compote on top and sprinkle generously with the pecan brittle. Alternatively, if you have made one large bowl, dip a large tablespoon in warm water and scoop out separate portions onto a plate. You can serve the cranberry compote on the side or decoratively around the quark panna cotta portions. Sprinkle with the spiced pecan brittle.