Panna Cotta is as easy to make as Jell-O, and makes a perfect ending to any festive meal. Its cool, smooth lightness is a welcome relief after a big feast, and because it’s served chilled, it can be made a day or so in advance, leaving you more time on the day of the big dinner. This pumpkin version makes even those who can’t eat pie crust feel like they aren’t missing out on pie. As it cools, it separates somewhat into a creamy orange layer, topped with a thick band of white cream. By Julie Van Rosendaal
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 maple syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
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.