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Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta With Berries

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    Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta With Berries

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Nov 4, 2016

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Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta With Berries

Snow-white and feathery, panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert—it means “cooked cream”—that’s ubiquitous in red-sauce establishments, as well as in fancy Italian restaurants. It is an ideal party dessert, too, because you can make it the day before, then take it out of the fridge after dinner and serve. In this version, I’m using Greek yogurt instead of just heavy cream, to make it lighter and slightly acidic.

Typically, panna cotta is unmolded on a plate for a more dramatic way of serving, and you can certainly do that by running a knife around the edges of the dish and then dipping it quickly in a bowl of warm water. But I think that’s too fussy—I prefer the rustic, old-school look of Picardie café glasses filled with white custard, speckled with tiny black vanilla seeds, and layered with berries on top. 

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  1. Serves 4
  2. 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
  3. 1½ tablespoons cold water
  4. 1 cup Greek yogurt
  5. 1½ cups heavy cream
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 vanilla bean
  8. ¼ cup sugar
  9. 1 cup fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries, or a mixture)

1

Mix the gelatin powder with the water in a small bowl, and allow to dissolve for about 5 minutes.

2

Mix the Greek yogurt, ¾ cup of the heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. With a sharp paring knife, split the vanilla bean down its length, and scrape out the seeds with the knife’s tip. Add the seeds to the yogurt mixture. (You can use the vanilla pod to infuse your sugar by simply planting it in your sugar container.)

3

Heat the remaining ¾ cup heavy cream with the sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around the edges, and the sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off, add the gelatin, and whisk until it dissolves.

4

Pour the hot cream into the yogurt mixture and mix to combine. Pour the panna cotta into 4 heavy glass cups (about 3.5" tall), leaving a ½-inch gap at the top. Cover each cup with plastic wrap, and let chill and set in the refrigerator for minimum 8 hours or overnight.

5

Place ½ cup of the berries in a small bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the berries and stir. Add a teaspoon of sugar, if you like. Distribute the fruit mixture evenly among the panna cotta cups, and serve.

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