Chef Folse's Lemon Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 6 Servings


The original panna cotta came from the Italians. This "egg-less" custard is a refreshing dessert for warm spring and summer days. The custard is especially good when topped with fresh blueberry sauce and a sprig of mint.

Ingredients for Panna Cotta:

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

5 tbsps fresh lemon juice

2 tsps unflavored gelatin

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup crème fraîche

2 tbsps lemon zest

Method for Panna Cotta:

Lightly grease 6 (¾-cup) ramekins or custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together milk and heavy whipping cream. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean then add seeds and bean halves to the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Cover and let steep 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and set aside. In a small bowl, add lemon juice then sprinkle in gelatin. Let stand 10 minutes or until gelatin softens. Add gelatin mixture and granulated sugar to milk mixture. Stir over low heat until gelatin and sugar dissolve, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat the whisk in crème fraîche and lemon zest. Evenly divide among ramekins. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or until set. NOTE: This dessert may be prepared one day in advance and refrigerated overnight.

Ingredients for Blueberry Sauce:

3 cups fresh blueberries, divided

3 tbsps packed light brown sugar

3 tbsps crème de cassis, optional

Method for Blueberry Sauce:

In a blender, purée 2 cups of blueberries, brown sugar and crème de cassis. Strain mixture into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible, discarding solids. Stir remaining blueberries into sauce. To serve, run a small knife around each panna cotta. Place bottoms of ramekins, 1 at a time, in a bowl of hot water 45 seconds. Place serving plate atop ramekin. Hold plate and ramekin together then invert, shaking gently, to turn out panna cotta. Top with sauce and enjoy.