Lemon Panna Cotta from Tony's Town Square at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom Park

Most desserts end dinner on a sweet, indulgent note. But when the final course combines two decadent treats, it becomes a true grand finale.

This recipe comes from Tony's Town Square at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom park. The dish is chef Thomas Marr's Lemon Panna Cotta, a dessert served with a small chocolate-dusted cannoli.

Both treats are Italian in origin. Panna cotta is a cold treat that means cooked cream. Cannoli are tube-shaped pastry shells that are fried and then filled with a sweet ricotta filling. Served together, they make a decadent delight.

Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients:

Cannoli filling:

1/2 lb. ricotta impastata cheese (see note)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tblsp heavy cream
8 Tblsp confectioners sugar
Zest of 1/2 orange, chopped
Zest of 1/2 lemon, chopped
Ground chocolate
Candied zest:
Zest of 3 lemons
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Granulated sugar for dusting

Lemon panna cotta:

1 quart heavy cream
6 oz. sugar
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 vanilla beans
4 oz. warm water
1/4 oz. powdered gelatin
Zest of 1/2 orange, finely chopped
Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely chopped


Instructions:

1. For the panna cotta, he slits vanilla and scrapes off the flavorful bits inside the bean. Dissolve powdered gelatin in warm water. Add heavy cream, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, the vanilla scrapings and sugar. Stir and let cook until it reaches 160 F. Portions the liquid into 5-ounce ceramic dishes. Chill overnight in the refrigerator.

2. For the cannoli filling, combine ricotta, vanilla, chopped lemon zest, chopped orange zest, heavy cream, ground cinnamon and confectioners sugar. Set in the refrigerator. When chilled, pipe mixture into pastry shells. Gently press ends into ground chocolate.

3. For candied zest, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. When the sugar dissolves, add the lemon zest. Cook 5-7 minutes or until the zest is tender. Drain into a fine mesh sieve and place zest on paper toweling. Dust with sugar. Let air-dry for 1 hour.

4. To serve, present panna cotta with a cannoli and some of the candied lemon zest.

Recipe note: Impastata is a top-quality Italian ricotta.

About this restaurant:

Walt Disney's animated film Lady and the Tramp inspired the decor for this charming Italian restaurant in Disney's Magic Kingdom. Lunch and dinners are served, and the moderately priced menu includes the Lady and the Tramp's special: spaghetti and meatballs.

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