Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pretty Panna Cotta

Make this.
Maybe now.

Because it will take you all of 10 minutes and you'll feel like a gourmet gone wild.

The easiest, freshest, simplest spring dessert out there:
Panna cotta from, big surprise, Ms. Goin.

I've made this twice in 5 days. The first was for a family dinner at Brock and Kristina's. There were 5 of us, so I halved the recipe which serves 8, and it was perfect. The second time was yesterday because the ones at Family Dinner were gone too fast for me to photo. I halved the recipe again so as not to be left with too much cold custardy creaminess all to myself in the fridge. I am proud to report there's still some in there, though restraining from having it for every meal does take some effort.

All you need for this recipe is some dairy products, a packet of gelatin (and those if you who don't use it, try agar agar--I bet it will work), an amount of sugar probably sitting in your sugar bowl, and some berries.

It's completely delicious and incredibly easy, so you can surprise someone with homemade fantasticness during the week even. Which can be really lovely. A no-occasion special-occasion treat. I made mine in individual ramekins; you can also use one large dish and serve it family style at the table.

Here goes:

Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta With Berries
from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

1/2 c cold whole milk
one 1/4 oz package unflavored gelatin
3 c heavy cream
6T granulated sugar
Vegetable oil, for molds
1/2 c plus 2T creme fraiche ( I love Bellwether Farms)
1 1/2 pints fresh berries

Place milk in large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over it, stir to combine

In a saucepan, bring cream and 5T sugar to a boil. Lightly oil 8 4-oz ramekins or a large gratin dish if serving family style.

When cream boils, turn off the heat, let sit for a few minutes.

Slowly whisk cream into milk/gelatin, then whisk in creme fraiche.

Strain (though I didn't need to---nothing was in the strainer after I did) the mixture and pour into prepared molds. Chill at least 3 hours in the fridge.

10-15 minutes before serving, slice berries as necessary and toss with a tablespoon of sugar.

Run a hot knife around the edges of the molds and invert panna cotta onto individual plates or onto a chilled platter. Surround panna cotta with berries and juice.

See what I mean?

Now I will tell you when I made it first I added the seeds of a vanilla bean to the cream mixture before boiling and it was heaven. Made the top of the panna cotta a little speckled, but no matter. I also think you could add a tablespoon or 2 of Grand Marnier at that same point.....
The tang from the creme fraiche is wonderful, and the berries offset that beautifully. Use whatever ones look freshest at your market.

Also: use a VERY HOT knife. Like stuck in boiling water hot. I had a little trouble unmolding them, which also could have been from not using quite enough oil. But a very hot knife makes a difference too.

Shelf paper giveaway winner gets chosen today! YAY!


  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looks delicious. How many does it serve?

  2. HA! did I forget that? this serves 8 but like I said I halved it and split the custard between 4 ramekins one time and 5 the next and it was great both times:)