Panna Cotta (cooked cream) is an Italian classic, a softly set pudding you can throw together in minutes and make in advance. The dessert is also one that can be infused with almost any flavor imaginable, so it’s an ideal way to profile in season ingredients like my beloved strawberries.
Silky smooth, each spoonful of this pretty pink panna cotta tastes of strawberries and cream clouds. Topped with fresh berries, there’s no reason not to try this easy and impressive sweet at home for your next dinner party.
Strawberry Panna Cotta
- 2 tsp unflavored gelatin
- 2 Tbsp cold water
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, trimmed and quartered
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- berries, for serving
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes. Combine strawberries, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon, until broken down and syrupy, about 8 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing firmly on solids.
- Return berry puree to saucepan; add milk and bring to a low simmer (look for small bubbles along the edge of the pan). Add the gelatin mixture and stir for 1 minute, until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and lemon juice until smooth.
- Place six 4-ounce ramekins on a level tray. To avoid air bubbles on the surface, pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into ramekins. Cover with plastic and carefully transfer to the refrigerator. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve topped with fresh berries.