I love this recipe. This Panna Cotta recipe is super easy and one of my husband’s favorites. No baking is required, and I guarantee great results. What’s there not to like about that? Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert that’s something that, at times, has been misclassified as a custard. It’s not that, however, it does have a very similar texture.
Always one for a story, I had a few of my family members over for a luncheon. One of the children who happened to be there asked what I was serving for dessert. When I explained what it was, he wrinkled his nose and declined a piece, opting for the brownies instead.
As everyone was eating the Panna Cotta and commenting on how good it was, he decided to give it a try. When he tasted it, he asked for a whole piece and then exclaimed how much he liked it. He said it was kind of like white jello. Panna Cotta isn’t quite like that, but his comment did make everyone laugh. Now on with the recipe.
Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Fruit
- Canola oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 ½ teaspoons)
- 2 ¼ cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- ¾ cup sugar
Plums (or your fruit of choice):
- 4 to 6 small ripe plums, thinly sliced or cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
Lightly coat the inside of an 9 or 8-inch round cake pan (with at least 1 1/2-inch-high sides) with canola oil.
Combine 2 tablespoons water and lemon juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, stirring to blend. Let stand until the gelatin blooms for about 15 minutes. While that is working, whisk the yogurt and 3/4 cup of cream in a large bowl and set aside. Combine 1 cup of the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin mixture to the hot cream mixture; whisking until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the gelatin and cream mixture to yogurt mixture, whisking until blended. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Chill in the refrigerator uncovered until cold, about one hour, then cover and keep refrigerated for at least 8 hours or overnight until the panna cotta is set.
Plum or Fruit Preparation: Just before you’re ready to serve the Panna Cotta, combine plums or fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon peel in medium bowl to macerated. Toss the fruit until it’s nicely coated. Let stand at room temperature until juices form. Then return the macerated fruit to the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it with your Panna Cotta.
When ready, using a small knife, cut around panna cotta to loosen the edges. Fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip bottom of the pan of panna cotta into the warm water to help loosen the Panna Cotta from the pan. Place dessert platter upside-down atop pan; invert panna cotta onto a flat plate or cake platter. Carefully lift the pan, allowing the panna cotta to settle onto platter. Cut panna cotta into wedges. Serve with macerated plums or your fruit of choice.
Notes: This is a lemon flavored Panna Cotta, however, you can omit the lemon juice and flavor the mixture with the same amount of vanilla or almond extract. Panna Cotta is a dessert that needs to be prepared a day ahead to ensure its perfection. I like to use an 8-inch pan when possible; it makes for a very nice high-sided Panna Cotta wedge when serving. There is no need to use only plums. I’ve used other fruits or berries depending on the season. The Panna Cotta is also good enough to serve alone. This recipe can be prepared a few days ahead, kept covered and refrigerated. If possible use a flat platter or large flat plate to invert the panna cotta. A serving piece with sloping sides won’t allow the dessert to lie flat and will make it harder to slice and serve.
Well, my Panna Cotta disappeared pretty fast after it was ready. It is so easy to make, light in calories and oh so good. Give it a try. I do believe you will find it to be a fun, and easy recipe to make. Who knows, you may include it as one of your favorite recipes too.
A side note: I had to laugh because when I decided to make this recipe, it took me longer to find it than it did to make it.
One of the biggest challenges we have in our household is when we decide to make a particular recipe, we can’t find our copy anywhere. Like many people, we stuff a favorite copy of the recipe in a special location we forget, or we mark it in the cookbook with notes and then we aren’t able to relocate it. To circumvent this problem, I am working on a cookbook that will include all our favorite recipes. This cookbook will give you and me the ability to access a favorite recipe quickly without hunting for them or using a dog-eared, food crusted file for easy access. Why am I telling you this? This Panna Cotta is one of the recipes I will definitely include.
Time to eat…