Summer is definitely the season for panna cotta. This light, classic Italian dessert is cool and creamy and can be made with so many combinations. Right now, berries are the word. All varieties are stocked in our stores in abundance and the prices are low.
In my house, if I want to make something with berries I have to hide them until I get around to using them. If you read much of this blog you’ll know that tiny berry thieves live with me so the hiding it totally warranted. I usually go for the vegetable drawer, covering the fruit with lettuce and cabbage. This generally keeps it safe as my children don’t feel the same about spinach leaves. At least plain.
MIXED BERRY PANNA COTTA
This panna cotta is easy to make, the bulk of the time it takes mostly involves waiting for the panna cotta to set.
You can use any mixture of berries for this dessert. I used blueberries and strawberries for the pictured panna cotta, but raspberries and blackberries would be excellent, as well. To make the puree needed for these sweethearts, simply add a handful of each type of berry(for about 1 1/2-2 C. total) to a blender and puree. Then run the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove all of the seeds. Use a big sieve. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to push a large amount of puree through a little sieve. It will take 6 times as long as a large one would. Not that I’ve ever done this. Never ever ever.
If you like the look of lining the inside of the glasses with sliced strawberries, go for it!
It really pretties up the dessert.
Just make sure that you slice the berries very thinly, and then pat each slice dry with a paper towel before pressing into the inner glass as the berries will let off more juice after the panna cotta is added. If you don’t, you’ll have liquid seeping out and breaking up your gelatin. If the berries fall out or loose there suction after pouring in the panna cotta, use a wooden skewer to press the berries back in place.
- 8 oz. Heavy Cream
- 3 T. Sugar
- ½ t. Vanilla
- 1 T. Water
- 1 heaping t. Powdered Gelatin
- ¾ C. Mixed Berry Puree(puree any combo of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries and run through a fine mesh sieve. Discard seeds.)
- 2 T. Sugar
- 1½ t. Cornstarch
- 1 T. Water
- ¼ C. Blueberries
- ¾ C. Blueberries
- ½ t. Lemon Juice
- Mint leaves, for garnish
- Pour the 1 T. water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Place the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the bloomed gelatin to the pan, along with the vanilla.
- Whisk the cream/gelatin mixture until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
- Mix the berry puree into the cream mixture.
- Divide the panna cotta mixture evenly between 4½ c. dishes or ramekins.
- Refrigerate the panna cotta for at least 4 hours, or until firmly set.
- For the Blueberry Topping:
- In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch.
- Add the water and mix in. Add the ¼ C. blueberries and smash them a little bit down into the sugar mixture with a whisk.
- Place the saucepan on medium/high heat, whisking and smashing the blueberries until the mixture starts to boil. Boil for about 30 seconds, or until mixture has thickened and is a dark purple.
- Remove from heat and toss the remaining ¾ C. blueberries and lemon juice into the mixture, until it is well combined and all the blueberries are coated with the glaze.
- Let cool completely and top each chilled panna cotta with a spoonful of berries. Do not top with the berries until the panna cotta is firmly set.
- Garnish with mint leaves.
For more variations on this light, classic Italian dessert, check out these: