As I promised in last week’s warm summer berry compote blog, I’m posting a recipe for a dessert over which the compote goes absolutely perfectly: buttermilk panna cotta.
In Italian, panna cotta means “cooked cream”, and that’s really what this recipe is. I believe I extolled upon the virtues of, and my love for, panna cotta in the pumpkin spice panna cotta recipe I posted last fall. It’s one of my favorite desserts to make and to eat: soft, creamy, cool, sweet but not too sweet, and with a little tang and fresh tartness from the buttermilk and lemon zest. It’s also a perfect low-heat dessert for these, the hottest days of summer (and wow has this summer been hot…). You don’t need an oven, there’s not a lot of work, you barely need to turn the stove on, and it comes out of the fridge nice and cold. There are also very few ingredients.
So let’s say you’re having friends over for a summer dinner on the patio. Spend twenty minutes that morning (at the most) in the kitchen, put the panna cotta in the fridge, and it will be ready to pull out and serve whenever you and your guests are ready. Just spoon the berry compote (warm or not) on top and you have a delicious and very pretty dessert!
A quick note: The recipe states that the gelatin needs to “bloom”. It will look a little odd and look like it’s already hardened, but no need to worry. It will melt when combined with the warmed milk and set beautifully. Blooming gelatin looks a little bit like this:
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet of gelatin
- ¼ - ½ cup sugar or honey
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 vanilla bean and seeds or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- 1 recipe of warm berry compote
- Stir together the gelatin and 2 Tbsp. water until combined and set aside to let “bloom”.
- Heat the milk, sugar or honey, and vanilla bean and seeds (or the extract over medium-low heat). Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved and the milk is just barely simmering. There will be tiny bubbles around the sides and just a few bubbles under the surface.
- Take the milk off the heat (remove the vanilla bean, if using) and stir in the gelatin and lemon zest.
- Pour into dessert dishes, ramekins, or molds and place in the fridge. Allow to set for at least two hours or until the panna cotta is fully set.
- Serve topped with warm (or cooled) berry compote and enjoy!
Simple and so good! It even looks pretty in whatever you serve it, especially with the deep reds and purples of the berry compote.
‘Till next time! (There’s one more dessert coming in this summer’s dessert series!)