Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Rhubarb Compote

05 Jun


Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts.  It’s a light, creamy eggless custard with a texture that is simply divine. 

Panna Cotta is easily one of the most simple desserts to make.  I decided to make a lower fat variation of the traditional heavy cream based recipe. Since panna cotta is an eggless custard, you really have a lot of  leeway to make it as fattening or nonfattening as you would like.   No matter which way you go, it will be heaven in your mouth.  Trust me.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

  • 4 c low-fat half and half
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 packets powdered gelatin
  • 6 tablespoons cold water

Heat half and half, sugar  and vanilla bean (cut vanilla bean in half.  Scrape the inside with the back of a knife to get the seeds out.  Add seeds and bean to mixture) in saucepan until sugar has dissolved and mixture is very warm but not boiling.

In a medium bowl add the cold water.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let bloom for 5 mins.  You will notice it gets very thick.  This is a good thing.

Pour warm milk mixture over bloomed gelatin and wisk until gelatin has fully dissolved.

Pour mixture into 8 lightly greased remkins or vessel of your choice. 

Let chill in the refrigerator overnight.  When chilled gently run a knife along the edge to loosen the panna cotta making it easier plate.  You can always leave it in the remekin and pour whatever you like over the top as well.

Rhubarb Compote

  • 4 c chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/4 c water

Place ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved and liquid starts to bubble.

Turn heat down, cover and simmer until rhubarb is soft (about 10-15 mins).

Place in a container to cool in the refrigerator.  How easy was that?

I love the tangy compote coupled with the sweetness of the panna cotta.  I love when I loosen the panna cotta from the ramekin onto a plate the vanilla beans are all gathered at the top.

This is a wonderful summertime dessert.  I really hope you try this out for yourself.  You can top it with anything you like, or nothing at all.  It’s that good.


Posted by on June 5, 2009 in compote, panna cotta, rhubarb


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Rhubarb Compote

  1. Nancy

    June 5, 2009 at 5:07 PM

    I’ve never made panna cotta but I’ve seen Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) make it on her show.

    Any reason you couldn’t substitute nonfat yogurt with less gelatin?

  2. sarahnett

    June 5, 2009 at 5:17 PM

    I haven’t tried using yogurt. I’m not sure how it would firm up. It’s worth a try.

  3. Nairne

    June 5, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, we have a ton of rhubarb right now and I know JUST what I’m going to do with it! My girlfriends and I have a little panna cotta club, and I know we’ll have fun with this one!

  4. sarahnett

    June 5, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    I’m so glad you like the recipe. I made mine low fat, but if you want richer go ahead and use the heavy cream. I don’t think you can fail at panna cotta.

  5. oceania

    June 5, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    Can you replace the gelatin with AgarAgar and if so, what proportion?

  6. sarahnett

    June 6, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    For Agar Agar use 2 teaspoons of powder or 2 tablespoons of flakes.


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