We just hosted our first holiday party of the season last night at our house and here is one of the desserts I wanted to share with you first (they’ll be more to come!) . I love these panna cottas topped with a mixed berry compote because they are gluten-free, present beautifully, taste delicious, and are super easy to make! They’re a real life saver when you’re hosting a party and already have a lot on your plate.
I still remember the first time I had this dessert at a party and one of our friends thought it was the most delicious thing ever. He literally ate over 10 of these and exclaimed, “these are so good!”, each time he reached for another one. Since it was my first time meeting him that day, I have forever remembered him as “the guy at the party who ate all the panna cottas”.
For the berry compote, you can use both fresh or frozen berries and yes, you do need to use the lemon. Some berries are already naturally tart but they can also be a little bit flat compared to that mouth-watering high acidity that lemon can bring to any dish.
Panna Cotta is a dessert that is simply “boiled cream”. It’s a creamy base that pairs wonderfully with the tarty berry compote. These contrasting flavours are amazingly addictive! It was like deja-vu all over again when my guests told me that “they are so good!”, while grabbing another one and asking that I pack some home for them.
I hope you enjoy making this easy dessert and I’m positive you’ll get the same enthusiastic response to it as well. Remember to show me how you display these pretty babies and your holiday baking. I’ll be over on IG and FB.
STEP BY STEP:
- Cut lemon in half. Remove all the seeds.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the hot water.
- Boil 2 cup of mixed berries in a pot.
- Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Add the remaining sugar if a sweeter taste is desired. Boil until sugar is fully dissolved. Once the mixture begins to bubble up, remove from the heat to prevent the fruit from becoming too soft.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture to taste.
- Add the cornstarch into the mixture, stir until fully incorporated and the mixture has thickened. It will thicken further as it cools.
- Let the mixture cool off and then place in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to serve the panna cotta, add it on top. Can be made 1 or 2 days before serving.
STEP BY STEP:
- Pour the milk into a sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin on top evenly to bloom. Put it on a medium heat but do not let it boil. If it does, immediately remove it from the heat. Keep a constant watch over as it can over-boil very quickly.
- Add the sugar and salt, stir until fully dissolved.
- Add the cream and stir until fully incorporated. Do not boil.
- Take off heat. Add the vanilla extract. Stir.
- Pour the mixture into a large measuring cup to allow it to cool down slightly before pouring it into plastic shot glasses. Stir the mixture before pouring. If using ramekins, you can pour it in while still hot.
- Place in an air tight container in the fridge to set overnight.