Panna Cotta

The Italian version of vanilla ice cream, panna cotta tastes delicious served with fresh fruit in season. Using a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract gives this dish extra flavor.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 8 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin, such as Knox
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2¼ cups whipping cream or heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar


  • Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Pour the gelatin over the water and let it stand for 5 minutes to soften. Cut the vanilla bean in half and remove the seeds.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the whipping cream, vanilla bean and seeds, and the sugar over medium-low heat, stirring continuously to dissolve the sugar. Do not let the cream boil. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
  • Remove the saucepan from the stove element and stir in the softened gelatin. Continue stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set the bowl inside a larger bowl of ice water. Cool for 15 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour the liquid into 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate overnight.