BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Luscious Yogurt Panna Cotta: My New Favorite Make-at-Home Dessert

with 4 comments

With a stewed strawberry-rhubarb sauce.

Or with creamy, non-stringy Atulfo mango, mint and lemon verbena.

Searching for a fail-safe dessert recipe that’s always sure to impress your guests? What about a simple, but elegant, no-bake panna cotta?

I ran across this luscious recipe from our local Nancy’s Yogurt while searching for something new to do with rhubarb. It’s from Cathy Whims of Portland’s acclaimed Italian spot, Nostrana. To lighten it up, I used two-thirds yogurt to one-thirds cream. I couldn’t stop dipping my spoon into the pot as the concoction warmed. And it was hard to wait overnight for the gelatinous molds to cool before digging in. But then your work is done and your dessert sits patiently in the fridge, waiting for your guests. Minimal assembly is required. Just un-mold the ramekins, jiggling the panna cotta out with that satisfying Jello thwump. Garnish with fruit and serve. In addition to strawberry and rhubarb, it’s also delicious with creamy, cut-up mango.

Your guests will be delighted. My brother-in-law said it was one of the best desserts (he must have meant at-home desserts) he’s ever had. It’s like a custard or creme brulee but easier on the waistline and so much easier to prepare. This yogurt panna cotta almost reminds me of that custard-style Yoplait Thick & Creamy I used to love as a child, but better. It’s all about the texture. But then so many memorable foods are.

I think I’ve only made panna cotta once before, a lumpier pumpkin panna cotta for Thanksgiving that was hard to strain and keep smooth. I remember loving a passion fruit panna cotta I once splurged on at the Silver Moon Bakery on the Upper Upper West Side. I plan to make this panna cotta during next winter’s grapefruit season. This non-baker is thrilled to have another dessert to add to her repertoire. Just don’t wear it out, right?

Written by baltimoregon

May 24, 2010 at 12:43 am

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Anyone know of a good substitute for gelatin? A vegetarian friend asked. Sorry to the kosher friends out there, too! I read something about agar agar from seaweed being a possible sub. And she suggested pectin.


    May 24, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    • Use something called clear jel. It is a modified food starch and is vegan. Im not sure what the substitution ratio is, but it is might be as easy as 1:1.


      June 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      • Cool…I have used clear gel in pie filling. But it’s not quite gelatin-like. I might think agar would work better.


        June 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

  2. Laura – These look just wonderful. Judy


    May 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: