1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tbsp.)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Candied Citrus Peel
3 large lemons
1 large orange
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1. Pour lemon juice into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin. Let sit until gelatin “blooms” (softens), about 10 minutes.
2. In a saucepan, whisk sugar with lemon zest. Pour in heavy cream and milk, place over medium heat and cook, whisking, until mixture is just simmering and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes (do not allow to boil).
3. Add gelatin mixture and vanilla and whisk until gelatin has dissolved. Transfer to a large measuring cup with a pouring spout and divide mixture among 8-4 oz. ramekins or custard cups. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. Panna Cotta will be firm but still slightly jiggly.
4. Prepare candied citrus peel while panna cotta is setting. Using a citrus stripper, remove zest of lemon and orange in strips, avoiding white pithy part.
5. Bring water to boil in a 2-qt. saucepan, add the zest and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and repeat one time; add water sugar and blanched lemon and orange zest, simmer over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and syrup thickens coating the zest, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool and serve with chilled panna cotta. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired.