Panna cotta, Italian for cooked cream, is an ancient dessert similar to the blancmange. Modern day panna cottas typically contain cream, milk, sugar, gelatin, and a vanilla bean with fruit syrup or sauce drizzled on top. This deceptively simple combination of ingredients can result in rich and creamy delightfulness.

The panna cotta seen here consists of heavy cream, whole milk, one vanilla bean, bloomed gelatin, and Lemoncello. The raspberry sauce has fresh raspberries, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. The cream and vanilla bean merged into an ivory yumminess I’ve only experienced in fine ice creams, while the lemoncello and raspberry sauce tempered the creamy richness.

Recipe for 2.5 cups

  • 1 packet Knox gelatin
  • ½ cup milk (for blooming gelatin)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons lemoncello (or other fruit liqueur)
  • Raspberry Sauce:
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, puréed, seeds strained
  • Powered sugar, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste

Sprinkle the packet of gelatin on top of ½ cup milk. Set aside for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan heat up cream, sugar, and vanilla seeds (do not boil). Once sugar dissolves, pour over the bloomed gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in lemoncello, and spoon into mold(s). Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

For raspberry sauce, combine pureed raspberries with seeds strained with sugar and lemon juice. Spoon over the set panna cotta.

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