Friday, June 24, 2016

Buttermilk Panna Cotta – The Magic of Barely Cooked Cream

For something called “cooked cream,” there’s very little cooking involved here. Actually, there is very little anything involved here. If you can somehow manage to start your panna cotta the day before you want to eat it, this classic Italian recipe is about as simple as it gets.

As long as you keep the same basic gelatin to creamy liquid ratio, you can flavor this any way you want. I’ve had them scented with everything from Earl Grey tea to cardamom, so feel free to play around. Same goes for the proportion of buttermilk, which can be increased for a tangier version.

One thing I should have mentioned is not to put the plastic wrap on while they’re still warm. It looked like I wrapped mine immediately, but I actually let them cool before putting them in the fridge. It’s not a huge deal, but if you put the plastic on warm, you’ll get condensation, which will then drip, and wreck that perfectly pristine surface.

This is so perfect in the summer, and not just because it’s easy and refreshing. All that amazing seasonal fruit gives you the perfect reason…excuse…to make these easy treats. I hope you give this panna cotta recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes about 8 servings:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (just shy of 1 tablespoon) sprinkled over 3 tablespoons cold water
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 strips lemon peel
extremely tiny pinch salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

25 comments:

Berit said...

Chef John, that looks delicious! And....I really really REALLY want some of those dessert/sundae cups. Your Vintage (but -hey-who-knows) description has me despairing that hearing a source from you and obtaining some won't be possible.

Maybe I can console myself with some delicious Panna cotta. Thank you.

(In all seriousness, please do tell me info on them if you can.)

Cole Simms said...

What if we were to use gelatin sheets? How many should be used?

Cole Simms said...

What if we are using gelatin sheets? How many would be used?

Catman said...

how many grams of gelatin in a standard US gelatin envelope ?

Steve Kennedy said...

At last, something to do with the leftover buttermilk from creme fraiche.

Larry Kuszmaul said...

Can you substitute whole milk for the butter milk?

Jessica Lovejoy said...

Hi Chef John!

I absolutely adore all your videos. Friends think I'm a master chef (not really) but the truth is I just display your videos on a laptop in my kitchen while I try my very hardest to follow your video recipes. I finally spilled my cooking secrets (your videos) to my childhood best friend. Now she's hooked.

I've been a fan for the past few months, but it's about time I finally wrote you to thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipes. My favorites are the vegan miracle fudge and every curry dish you have ever made.

This sounds quite silly, but sometimes I even watch your videos at 2AM in the morning when I have a hard time sleeping. Your voice is very "safe" sounding and it always helps me relax after a very stressful day. I'm sure there must be others like me who are super fans but never take the time to thank you for all of your help.

Please always keep cooking! Cayenne is now a staple in my pantry. ;)

Instant Muffin said...

What if you were to use those silicon muffin trays instead of the ramekin and you could just pop them out with the good ol' popper popper?

kristen krieger said...

Looks good. Out of curiosity, why does the cream need to be heated? This is the same question I ask myself when making ice cream since I thought all the pasteurizing that's done to our dairys made them safe to eat with out cooking. But I don't know so I do it anyway. But in this, since there's no eggs, and your barely cooking the cream, does it matter if it's heated or not? I may just make 2 versions of this, the first according to directions, and the second without heating the cream, just to satisfy my curiosity.

clark said...

Hello His Heiness Chef John~

Have you visited Town Cuterry in SF?

http://www.saveur.com/town-cutler-san-francisco-knife-shop?cmpid=swmenews06252016&spPodID=020&spMailingID=25827992&spUserID=MTE4ODMxMTE3OTk2S0&spJobID=823778808&spReportId=ODIzNzc4ODA4S0

Chris K. said...

Things to do with the remaining quart of buttermilk you bought to make this recipe:

1. Starter culture for creme fraiche, as mentioned previously. What? You don't have a jar of home made creme fraiche in your fridge? Shame on you!

2. Marinade for fried chicken. So good you'll slap your mama.

3. Marinade for fried sweetbreads. They're the gateway food to eating offal.

3. Buttermilk cheese grits! Don't forget to stir in some extra bacon fat and butter, because that's where the love is at. If you're feeling froggy use pimiento cheese. Serve it with crispy braised pork belly and a Cheerwine glaze, topped with pickled onion. Post the picture and your Facebook friends will hate you.

Lisa M said...

Hey CJ can we butter the ramekins so it comes out easier? How about cooking spray?

tamtam said...

This looks delicious! I just might try making this for 4th of July

After, quite literally, discovering your channel on Youtube by accident, I've come to be a fan of your videos, Chef John. I enjoy watching you make delicious foods, and then giving them a try on my own (the first recipe of yours that I made was the English muffins). Keep up the good work!

Robin Betts said...

@Berit: your lookup,for the sundae dishes is 'Candlewick', by Imperial Glass...somebody very kindly identified it on the YouTube site. My mother has some, and I've been wanting to find out what it is for ages.

Toshiko Suisei said...

Hi Chef John :)
To BERIT -- I google-imaged "vintage dessert bowls beaded glass" and found the same for $20/set in less than 20 seconds...

Frank said...

This was amazing! Thank you.

Leyls said...

When I gave this a try everything was going great until the addition of the lemon juice, when my previously beautiful cream got all curdled and rather saddening to look at. Do you know what would cause such a thing?

(I strained the curds and chilled what fell through the sieve -- it tastes a m a z i n g but we'll find out if it'll firm up properly in a few hours)

Daniel Jonsson said...

Could I substitute buttermilk with créme fraiche or sourcream, or does that have a very different flavor profile? Can't find any buttermilk in Sweden.

Todd Hollerson said...

Hi Chef,
I made this yesterday to your exact specifications. I let it set overnight and garnished it today. I also made a raspberry coulis just to add a few drops around the fresh raspberries. Snipped the tips off my mint plant. These desserts are beautiful. As for the flavor, OUTSTANDING.

It took me less than 10 minutes to make (minus the overnight setting) It's super easy and absolutely delicious. Now I have to make it again and garnish with crispy bacon.

jorkar said...

I made this and it separated in the refrigerator, with creamy custard on top and an almost clear substance on the bottom. I thought I heated, dissolved and mixed everything properly, but I obviously did something wrong. I even bought cultured buttermilk and the heavy cream. Oh well, we're still eating it anyway, not bad. But not inclined to try this one again. I've made other panna cottas successfully before.

Santiago Antonio said...

Is it any difference if i use heavy whipping cream instead of regular heavy cream?

Maninderjit Ghotra said...

This turned out good for me taste wise, but I am not sure if I got the right texture. When this dissolves on or touches my touch I can feel grainy particle type texture. I'm not sure if that makes sense but it doesn't dissolve straight into liquid. Should I have used less gelatin? I don't think an accidentally higher sugar ratio should contribute to the grainy texture right? Or was this how it turned out for everyone.

Thanks.

Moonshines said...

hi chef john today iS my boyfriend's birthday and i made these panna cottas my family and my mom cant stop praising it. It was tangy and delicious nothing like i ever had. Thankyou so much for the recipe. This will definitely be a regular thing in my family.
also i am your Indian fan and ingredients were so easily available. I used fresh cream and milk instead of heavy cream and it still tastes amazing.

Thankyou and lots of love from India

Pat D'Anna said...

Mine separated the same as Jorkar commented above? What gives???

Annette Tompkins said...

I recently tried this but the gelatin formed a layer at the bottom of the dessert dish - not sure if that's supposed to happen? It looked and tasted good. The gelatin had some lemon flavor to it which makes me wonder if that would made the panna cotta taste even better if the gelatin didn't sink to the bottom??