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Classic Panna Cotta Recipe

Wonderful and creamy and not as rich as flan or custard


1 cup whole milk
2 3/4 teaspoons gelatin
3 cups heavy cream
2 inches piece vanilla beans, slit lengthwise with paring knife (or substitute 2 teaspoons extract)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch table salt

Serve with your topping of choice.
The one pictured here is raspberry sauce and a sprig of fresh mint to garnish.


Pour milk into medium saucepan; sprinkle surface evenly with gelatin and let stand 10 minutes to hydrate gelatin.

Meanwhile, turn contents of two ice cube trays (about 32 cubes) into large bowl; add 4 cups cold water.

Measure cream into large measuring cup or pitcher.

With paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds into cream; place pod in cream along with seeds and set mixture aside.

Set eight wine glasses or 4-ounce ramekins on baking sheet.

Heat milk and gelatin mixture over high heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and mixture registers 135 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1.5 minutes.

Off heat, add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved, about 1 minute.

Stirring constantly, slowly pour cream with vanilla into saucepan containing milk, then transfer mixture to medium bowl and set bowl over ice water bath.

Stir frequently until thickened to the consistency of eggnog and mixture registers 50 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Strain mixture into large measuring cup or pitcher, then distribute evenly among wine glasses or ramekins.

Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap, making sure that plastic does not mar surface of cream; refrigerate until just set (mixture should wobble when shaken gently), 4 hours.

Serve panna cotta in wine glasses, or, unmold panna cotta from ramekins and serve immediately.

To unmold: Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a small bowl, dip a ramekin into the water, count to three, and lift the ramekin out of the water.With a moistened finger or a thin knife, press lightly around the periphery of the cream to loosen the edges.

Dip the ramekin back into the water for another three-count.

Invert a plate on the ramekin. Flip the plate over and let the panna cotta drop on to the plate.

Jiggle it just a bit if needed.

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