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Buttermilk Panna Cotta


Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Photo © Molly Watson
In my experience, this ultra-easy buttermilk panna cotta make people go "wow" and get busy with their spoons. Quality buttermilk and cream are highlighted in the silky-smooth texture that pairs beautifully with fresh berries or orchard fruits in season.

Different dairies and different parts of the country label cream differently. For this recipe you want heavy cream without any sweeteners or thickeners in it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Set Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 3/4 cups cream
  • 10 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 package (1/2 oz.) gelatin
  • 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp. high-quality vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and sugar to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, split the vanilla pod lengthwise, scrape the seeds out, and add them and the pod to the cream mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the cream takes on a strong vanilla flavor, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, dissolve the gelatin in 2 tablespoons cold water. Let that sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard the vanilla pod from the cream mixture and add to the gelatin. Stir to combine thoroughly, making sure the gelatin is fully dissolved into the cream. Stir in the buttermilk.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between 8 small ramekins (8 ounces each). Put the ramekins on a baking sheet (this is just for easy transfer, if you don't have room in the fridge to fit a baking sheet, just put the ramekins in here and there as works for you) and chill until set, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  5. To serve, unmold the panna cottas by dipping the ramekins into a bowl of very hot water and inverting the panna cottas onto small dessert or salad plates. You may need to slip the point of a sharp knife along the side to loosen the edge and allow the mixture to release from the ramekin.

Makes 8 servings Buttermilk Panna Cotta.

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