Guest Post: Lemon Blueberry Panna Cotta

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The following guest post was written by Katie Goodman, cook extraordinaire. She regularly writes about “what’s good in the kitchen” at goodLife{eats}. Katie also designed my other blog and my writer’s site. She has a great eye for what looks good as well as what tastes yummy.

I recently made Panna Cotta for the first time. It’s probably the easiest, fanciest dessert I’ve ever made. It looks special; it tastes special, but it’s really nothing more than gelled cream. This recipe is a perfect summer dessert because berries are in season and it doesn’t require turning on the oven in an already hot kitchen.

As far as the price, I’d consider this a fairly inexpensive dessert when you do the shopping right. I pick up heavy cream and half and half frequently at Costco to have on hand for when the need arises. The size isn’t your typical “Costco size,” but the price is better than I’ve found at grocery stores.

Berries are frequently on sale during summer months. The time I made this, I found them on sale for 79 cents per container. If your location allows, you can head to the farmers’ market or a you-pick farm for a fun family activity on the cheap.

Lemon Blueberry Panna Cotta
makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 3/4 cups cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup half and half or whole milk
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries, divided
lemon zest, to garnish, optional

Sprinkle the gelatin over the of water in a small bowl. Let sit to soften.

Put the half and half or milk in a small saucepan with the sugar over medium heat and heat until bubbles form around the edges. Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Whisk in the cream, salt, lemon extract, and vanilla extract.

Clean and dry the blueberries. Divide half of the berries between 4 6-8 ounce cups or bowls. Fill each one partway with the berries. Pour the panna cotta mixture over the berries and chill until set.

Before serving, divide the remaining berries between the cups, piling them on top of the set custard. Garnish with lemon zest.

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