This is my second attempt at panna cotta. The first time, my recipe resulted in what I’d generously call “cream jello”. It definitely contained too much gelatin and not enough of anything with any semblance of flavor. For my subsequent attempt, a yogurt variety guaranteed at least some flavor and a different texture. Luckily, the outcome was awesome.
This Yogurt Vanilla Panna Cotta is simple to make, just like most panna cotta, but the vanilla bean elevates the dessert a few notches. And see how much fancier these look because of the little specks of vanilla? I like the tang the yogurt imparts, too. I think I’ll make this recipe a bunch for summer dinner parties because I can make it ahead and don’t have to worry about anything at the last minute.
Initially, I prepared roasted strawberries to top the panna cotta, but a very distracting email led me astray from the oven for too long and I burned most of the fruit. There was only enough of the strawberry concoction for one serving, so I scooped a spoonful of apricot jam for the rest of them instead and it was lovely. Feel free to use any jam or fresh fruit to accompany these.
Yogurt Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta (adapted from epicurious)
Yield: five servings
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup + 6 Tablespoons heavy cream, divided
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
Pinch of salt
Lightly spray the inside of five individual dishes (either small ramekins, oven-safe bowls or mugs, or stoneware dishes) with the cooking spray.
Combine the water and lemon juice in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let it stand for 15 minutes.
Whisk the yogurt and 6 tablespoons cream in a large bowl.
Add the 1/2 cup cream, sugar, vanilla seeds, vanilla bean, and pinch of salt to a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often; remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean from the pan. Add the gelatin mixture to the pan and whisk to combine with the hot ingredients until smooth.
Slowly add the hot ingredients to the yogurt-cream mixture, whisking to combine as you pour. After the mixture is whisked smooth, pour it evenly into the five prepared dishes.
Refrigerate the panna cotta for at least 4 hours before serving. I like to serve these desserts in their dishes, but if you’d like to unmold them onto a separate plate, refrigerate them for