How To Make Panna Cotta


Yeah I know we’re a lot about healthy eating and good Mediterranean foods, but hey it’s summertime and this Panna Cotta recipe is exactly what you need to top off a summer meal.  In visiting Sicily last year, we discovered a cool little Cafe that made a great Panna Cotta.  I been looking for a recipe that matched their Panna Cotta and found this one at the Splendid Table (here’s the link: that fit the bill.  I added a few of my own ideas after testing it this weekend.

Panna Cotta translates to cooked cream and found that if you serve this with a good quality Balsamic Vinegar or a Saba syrup, you guest will be have felt they died and gone to heaven.  I prefer a Saba syrup which can be found in most Italian Specialty Shops or online HERE ( Leonardi Saba Dressing (8.45 Fluid Ounces).  Expect to spend a few bucks, but it’s worth it.

Panna Cotta



  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar, or more to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8-ounce container) sour cream
  • 2 cups pitted fresh cherries, strawberries, raspberries, sliced peaches or pears
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons artisan-made balsamic vinegar or 1 to 2 tablespoons Saba syrup


  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a 3-quart saucepan, warm the cream with the sugar, salt, and vanilla over medium-high heat. Do not let it boil. Stir in the gelatin until thoroughly dissolved. Take the cream off the heat and cool about 5 minutes.
  • Put the sour cream in a medium bowl. Gently whisk in the warm cream a little at a time until smooth. Taste for sweetness. It may need another teaspoon of sugar. Rinse 8 2/3 -cup ramekins, custard cups, or coffee cups with cold water. Fill each one three-quarters full with the cream. Chill 4 to 24 hours.
  • To serve, either unmold by packing the molds in hot towels and then turning each out onto a dessert plate, or serve in their containers. Serve alone or with the fruit, or drizzle each portion with about 1/2 teaspoon artisan balsamic vinegar or Saba.

OK, Splurge a little, you earned it.  Serve this with a cold Prosecco or a nice after dinner Pinot Noir with a slight chill.  It’s been hot and the dog days of summer are still ahead of us, so lift your spirits with this Panna Cotta.

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photo by: Sebastian Mary

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