If you’ve only ordered panna cotta in a restaurant, you need to make this. If you can make Jello, you can do this. It’s closely related in terms of preparation.
Panna cotta is an eggless Italian custard. It’s fairly plain but is often served with a nice fruit sauce that enhances the flavor.
I created this red, white and blue sweet treat for the Fourth of July.
Since I needed something blue for my theme, I decided to make a blueberry port sauce to pour over and it’s wonderful. Strawberries add a touch of red and texture. It’s very nice.
For the photos, I styled my panna cotta two ways: in a champagne flute, which is beautiful; and then in a star glass dish that I bought from Dollar Tree.
You can also serve them in ramekins which is more traditional.
It’s simple and perfect for a couple or small family because there’s only five servings. Enjoy!
Panna Cotta with Blueberry Port Sauce and Strawberries
Makes 5 servings
1/2 cup whole milk
1 ½ envelopes (.25 ounces each) unflavored gelatin
2 cups of heavy whipping cream (1 pint)
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint blueberries
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons port
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
For the panna cotta: place whole milk in a bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Set aside for 3 minutes.
Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape the tiny seeds inside into a heavy bottomed pot. The seeds contain the vanilla flavor. Next add the heavy cream and sugar and heat it over medium or medium-low heat. You don’t want to rush it because you don’t want the cream to curdle. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Then pour the gelatin/milk mixture into the cream. Stir until gelatin is dissolved which takes about 3 minutes.
When it’s done, turn off the heat and add the vanilla extract.
Pour ½ cup of mixture into ramekins or champagne glasses, whatever you plan to use to serve the dish. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
For the port sauce, heat blueberries, water and sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens. When it’s done, stir in the port. For a mild port flavor, use 2 tablespoons. If you want more pronounced flavor, add 3 or even 4. I used Taylor Port which is readily available, inexpensive and works wells in this recipe.
Refrigerate the port sauce until it’s time to use. Note, you can also serve the port sauce warm but if you decide to do this make it right before serving.
Before serving, top each panna cotta with blueberry port sauce and fresh strawberries.