Friday, January 11, 2008

Strawberry Panna Cotta

I love Panna Cotta, it's one of those desserts that is light and oh so creamy at the same time. Strawberries are out early this year, since the week of Christmas I have been able to find beautiful local Lousisiana strawberries just about everywhere. I needed to lighten up my dessert menu at the restaurant and Strawberry Panna Cotta will be perfect- or so I hope. I had previously made a plain Panna Cotta, my favorite, with a mixed berry compote on the side and while I loved it, it did not sell very well. I think Panna Cota has since become much more mainstream so I am giving it another try.

Panna Cotta should be very smooth, the strawberries here do give it a little texure, but the flavor completely compensates for the lack of perfect smoothness. If your strawberries are very ripe, you may want to decrease the amount of sugar. When unmolding them dip into hot water for a few seconds, pull it away from the edge a bit if needed then invert onto the serving plate. They will keep covered in the refrigerator for about 5 days, after that I find they no longer taste fresh. This is a great dessert for a dinner party, it comes together quickly. I make it in the morning before work, leave them to chill in the refrigerator all day and unmold right before serving.

To make the compote: slice 1 lb. strawberries and place in a medium bowl. Add about 1 cup superfine sugar and about 3 tablespoons Port. Let the strawberries marinate for about 20 minutes, they will weep a bit and make a beautiful sauce with the port.

Louisiana berries...sweet and ripe (no white tops!)

Strawberry Panna Cotta

1 lb strawberries, (3 cups, sliced) In addition to the strawberries for the compote.
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
5 gelatin sheets
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. remove stems from strawberries and place in blender, add buttermilk and sugar and blend until completely pureed.

2. Strain mixture using a fine sieve, discard solids. Place 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl. Bring cream to a gentle boil, add to milk, combine with a whisk. Add gelatin sheets and allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk gelatin mixture until combined then add to strawberry mixture and whisk together.

3. Pour mixture into six 6oz molds. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

4. To unmold, dip mold into hot water a few seconds then invert onto serving plate. Puddle a little strawberry sauce and some fresh strawberries around each Panna Cotta.


  1. This looks delicous! I have to say I have never tried Panna Cotta!
    And I also have to say I cant believe you have native strawberries this time of year! They look amazing! I often wondered what it would be like to live in a more mild climate, I guess this would be one (of many)of the benefits!

  2. Beautiful panna cotta! A shot of Kirsh on top would be extra-luscious!

  3. A good panna cotta reminds me of summers spent in Verbania as a child. In other words: delightful. This looks equally as pleasant and delicious (if a childhood could be described as "delicious", which it most likely could not).


  4. I'm so jelaous right now. Fresh strawberries? It's winter outside here! I have to wait another 6 months for fresh strawberries!

    I've onlt tried making coconut panna cotta and your version looks baffling. Now this is something I'd like to make in July:)

  5. I have never tried panna cotta (I know, it's crazy) and this looks so delicious! I wish I could have some!

  6. Hi Katia,

    Your panna cotta looks great! What kind of mold did you use to get that shape?

  7. Hi,
    I used a set of old shrimp cocktail dishes, I wanted them to be round. The dish actually sits inside another dish which looks like a brandy glass and holds the ice for the cocktails.


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