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Buttermilk panna cotta

Buttermilk panna cotta


2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups buttermilk
Fresh seasonal fruit
Sugar, to taste

Panna cotta is Italian for cooked cream. Sacramento chef Randall Selland serves this dish with sweetened fruit spooned over the top.


Pour water into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand about 10 minutes or until gelatin softens. Lightly spray 6 custard cups with nonstick spray.

Combine cream, sugar and vanilla bean in a medium pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to medium high and bring mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and remove vanilla bean. Add dissolved gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin is blended into cream. Cool to lukewarm, stirring frequently.

Add buttermilk and stir well. Divide mixture among prepared custard cups. Refrigerate panna cotta until set, about 4 hours. This mixture can be made several days in advance. If not serving the same day, cover cups and keep chilled until ready to serve. Before serving, toss your choice of fruit (such as berries and diced nectarines or other tree fruit) with sugar and chill for 1 hour. Serve panna cotta in custard cups topped with sweetened fruit.

Note: Selland uses gelatin sheets, which can be difficult to find. With his permission, we tried it with granulated gelatin. Both versions are absolutely delicious!

Serves 6