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5 Tips for Making the Perfect Panna Cotta

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Avoid Fruits With a High Bromelain Content

Pineapple is delicious, but fresh pineapple doesn't play well with gelatin. © Yuri Arcurs/Hemera/Thinkstock
Pineapple is delicious, but fresh pineapple doesn't play well with gelatin. © Yuri Arcurs/Hemera/Thinkstock

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Panna cotta is perfectly paired with fruit, but not all fruit is good for panna cotta -- the problem relates specifically to the gelatin. Enter bromelain.

Bromelain is an enzyme found in certain fruits including pineapples and kiwi. Gelatin is a protein -- specifically, collagen. When bromelain and gelatin meet, the enzyme does what it does best; it gets busy breaking down the protein into its basic amino acids. This is great for tenderizing a steak, but it's not so great if you want your gelatin to set into a smooth, solid panna cotta.

If you must have pineapple with your panna cotta, there's a little trick to avoid the problem: Heat bromelain-rich fruits (or used canned varieties, which are heated during the canning process) before using them with gelatin to inactivate the enzyme.

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