This is so perfect in the summer, and not just because it's easy and refreshing. All that amazing seasonal fruit gives you the perfect reason…excuse…to make these easy treats. If you start your panna cotta the day before you want to eat it, this classic Italian recipe is about as simple as it gets.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
additional:
5 hrs
total:
5 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sprinkle gelatin over cold water; stir and let sit 5 or 10 minutes until it thickens and becomes rubbery.

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  • Pour heavy cream into a saucepan. Whisk in sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just barely starts to simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemon peel as mixture is coming up to temperature. As small bubbles begin to appear here and there, remove pan from heat. Add tiny pinch of salt, vanilla, and bloomed gelatin. Whisk until gelatin melts into the cream mixture. Add buttermilk and lemon juice; whisk until blended.

  • Strain through fine sieve to remove zest and any lumps. Pour into serving dishes or ramekins. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5 hours or, ideally, overnight.

Cook's Note:

Keep the same basic gelatin to creamy liquid ratio and you can flavor this any way you want-scented with Earl Grey tea or cardamom-feel free to play around.

Nutrition Facts

315 calories; protein 2.8g 6% DV; carbohydrates 15.6g 5% DV; fat 27.7g 43% DV; cholesterol 102.5mg 34% DV; sodium 71.3mg 3% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (23)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/14/2016
This looks intimidating but it really is easy - and delicious. Of course. I've probably made about twenty Chef John recipes and every single one is amazing. Read More
(8)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
05/11/2018
I happened to catch The Chew one day and they made a maple syrup Panna Cotta which sounded delicious so I searched Allrecipes and saw Chef John one. As a huge Chef John fan I had to make this one instead. I usually have a 5 star experience with his recipes but sadly that did not happen with this one. I watched the video and he did say it was ok to swap out the dairy product so in an effort to cut calories I used half and half instead of heavy cream. Other than that I followed the directions. When I got to the straining part my concoction just sat in the strainer. About a tablespoon of clearish liquid dripped out so I just fished out the lemon peel and whisked the liquid back in then poured into Pyrex dishes. It started to separate immediately and got worse as it cooled. I still covered and put in the fridge overnight. My husband took one bite of the top creamy layer and spit it out. It was horrible. The consistency was gritty. I took a taste of both the top and the clear bottom layer and both were un-eatable. A couple of nights later I tried Clinton Kelly s recipe where the gelatin was sprinkled directly onto the cream and it also did not require straining. It was awesome. I did some research and seems using anything other than heavy cream can be tricky and more prone to separation. I don t know if I d try this again because if the half and half wouldn t strain I don t see how even heavier cream would strain? Read More
35 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 30
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
07/14/2016
This looks intimidating but it really is easy - and delicious. Of course. I've probably made about twenty Chef John recipes and every single one is amazing. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
09/03/2016
This was delicious! Made this for a dinner gathering and my guests loved it. I used gelatin sheets as that was all that was available in the store. If you're making it the night before (highly recommended) then 4 to 5 gelatin sheets should do the trick. I placed the finished mixture into small coffee mugs to refrigerate. When it was time to serve them I warmed them up VERY briefly (otherwise if you warm them up for too long they'll turn back into their liquid state) flipped them onto a plate and sprinkled mint leaves berries and maple syrup on top. It was great! P.S if you're wondering what to do with the leftover buttermilk you could always substitute sour cream for buttermilk when baking. I did that with a banana bread recipe and it was the best I've ever had! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2017
I replaced the buttermilk with the same amount of half and half ditched the lemon (mostly because I didn't have any) and added way more vanilla and boy was it delicious! Perfectly creamy it was refreshing and easy just like advertised! Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/03/2017
Awesome! First try I used the suggested amount of sugar and for the 2nd try I used about 1/3 cup sugar. Both were great. For flavouring I used the lemon peel vanilla but also cardamom. Wonderful recipe! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2016
Extremely easy and quick to make. My kids made it mostly by themselves. Delicious. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2019
Quite easy recipe and tastes absolutely great. Got requests to make it for multiple occasions, the last one being a friend's wedding. 16 servings were gone in no time. Love this recipe and will definitely make it again. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2018
This is a great simple recipe! I stuck it in the fridge at 4:00 PM and it was ready to serve at 6:30. My wife loved it because it wasn't overly sweet which she hates. I followed Chef John's instructions to the letter perfection! Next time I might add a little brandy for additional flavor. Thanks for another great recipe Chef John! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
07/31/2016
This was so good. We loved it! I prepared it according to the instructions and it turned out perfect. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
02/15/2019
I loved this recipe. Panna Cotta can be so rich it is cloying; the small amount of buttermilk and lemon in this one makes all the difference! Read More
(1)
Rating: 1 stars
05/11/2018
I happened to catch The Chew one day and they made a maple syrup Panna Cotta which sounded delicious so I searched Allrecipes and saw Chef John one. As a huge Chef John fan I had to make this one instead. I usually have a 5 star experience with his recipes but sadly that did not happen with this one. I watched the video and he did say it was ok to swap out the dairy product so in an effort to cut calories I used half and half instead of heavy cream. Other than that I followed the directions. When I got to the straining part my concoction just sat in the strainer. About a tablespoon of clearish liquid dripped out so I just fished out the lemon peel and whisked the liquid back in then poured into Pyrex dishes. It started to separate immediately and got worse as it cooled. I still covered and put in the fridge overnight. My husband took one bite of the top creamy layer and spit it out. It was horrible. The consistency was gritty. I took a taste of both the top and the clear bottom layer and both were un-eatable. A couple of nights later I tried Clinton Kelly s recipe where the gelatin was sprinkled directly onto the cream and it also did not require straining. It was awesome. I did some research and seems using anything other than heavy cream can be tricky and more prone to separation. I don t know if I d try this again because if the half and half wouldn t strain I don t see how even heavier cream would strain? Read More