In Italian, panna cotta means cooked cream, and in any language, it tastes heavenly! This creamy, sweet dessert tastes is reminiscent of custard or pastry cream, without the eggs. If you’ve never had it before, I highly recommend you give it a try!
With all deference to the Italians who created panna cotta, I wanted to create a lower fat option. This recipe cuts the heavy cream with whole milk, and the flavor is still decadent. I also use vanilla bean paste as opposed to extract, infusing this dessert with a deeper rich vanilla flavor.
There are so many flavors you can use to accompany your panna cotta: fruit gelatin, coulis, granola, chocolate ganache, toasted spices…the options are bountiful! In this recipe, I use the sweet simplicity of macerated strawberries and blueberries spooned on top. It makes a celebratory red, white, and blue dessert that’s perfect for the Fourth of July!
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
(Original recipe: Preppy Kitchen)
1-1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C white sugar
7 grams (1 packet) unflavored gelatin
1/4 C cold water
1 C heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Combine the gelatin and the cold water in a small bowl. Set aside to hydrate.
Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When the milk mixture reaches 140F, whisk in the hydrated gelatin until fully dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. Divide the mixture among 4-6 serving dishes or ramekins. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours.
Macerated Berry Topping
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and chopped into chunks
6 oz fresh blueberries, washed
2 TBSP sugar
In a large bowl, combine chopped strawberries with sugar and gently toss to coat them evenly. Set the bowl aside in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Add blueberries into the bowl and toss gently to coat in the juices.
Gently spoon berries on top of the panna cotta once it has set. Serve immediately.