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Vanilla Bean Infused Panna Cotta with Berries Recipe

One of my favorites make-ahead dessert recipes is Panna Cotta.  Panna Cotta is a light Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar and mixing with gelatin, eaten all over Italy. This is one of the popular Italian Dessert. Milky pudding or flan.

There are several ways to make Panna Cotta. You can serve it chilled with Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Carmel, Chocolate, Nutella, Citrus Fruits, Spices and get very creative with this desert. This is going to be a recipe I make over and over again during 2012 for my family.

My recipe calls for half and half with a mixture of milk. However, you can substitute the milk based ingredients for heavy cream or add a touch of milk as I did to reduce the richness of the recipe. When making vanilla infused desserts & pastries, I use an organic vanilla bean to obtain a real vanilla taste. The aroma of the vanilla bean give your home a pleasant cooking smell. I also like how the vanilla bean seeds look on top of the Panna Cotta.

I enjoyed making the dessert so much, I made a huge batch and stored it for my family in jars to eat as they please during the week. I typically like to double this recipe because it disappears quickly.



4 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 whole vanilla bean
4 1/2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin (2 packets)
6 tablespoons cold water
1 box Raspberries
1 box Blueberries
1 box Blackberries



1. Heat the half and half, milk and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

2. Heat vanilla bean in 350 degrees oven for 20-30 seconds. Split bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds and pod into the cream mixture. Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.

3. Prepare 8 small jars for pouring.*

4. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium bowl and let stand 5-10 minutes.

5. Pour the warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

6. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared jars, then chill them for two – four hours.

7. Serve with mixture of fresh Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries.

Additional tips:
*You can also pour the panna cotta into large mold for larger parties or lightly oiled ramekins.

Buen Provecho!

28 Comments Post a comment
  1. This sounds great – I love cooking with whole vanilla beans; the smell (and taste) is incredible! The panna cotta also looks super adorable in those jars!

    January 9, 2012
  2. Esto se ve como caido del cielo!!!!! Tengo que probarlo!!!! Tiene yodos los ingredientes que me encantan! Y la presentacion esta genial!

    January 9, 2012
  3. it looks delicious! Love the pictures!

    January 9, 2012
  4. Looks delicioso! Wonder if it could be done with soy milk?

    January 9, 2012
  5. Love it. I used to serve panna cotta with apricot compote, but love it with berries too. Its amazing the way you serve it in jars. I´m going to follow your recommendation.

    January 9, 2012
  6. I like that you used half and half…. I’ve eliminated milk from my diet b/c I think I may have an allergy to it. It keeps me sooo bloated! and, all those cute little jars!!?! Are those for the sharing!?! 😉

    January 10, 2012
  7. So cute! LOVE it and might just have to steal this idea for our next fiesta! Where did you get the cute jars?

    January 10, 2012
    • I used canning jars. I purchased the jars at the super market. These are the same jars that you use for making jam. Cost Plus also has a great selection of jars.

      January 11, 2012
  8. This is gorgeous – and looks delicious! I love the idea of storing it in little jars – I’ll have to try it sometime!

    January 10, 2012
  9. Drooooool. I love to order panna cotta when I’m eating out; thanks for showing that it’s not too hard to make it at home.

    January 10, 2012
  10. That’s it. I’m coming over for dinner…seriously. 😉

    January 10, 2012
  11. Oh, sounds YUM! I’m calorie-counting these days, but the fruit helps :-).

    January 10, 2012
  12. This looks delicious! I love berries.

    January 11, 2012
  13. Very satisfying to see all those lovely little jars lined up filled with a delicious custard. Kids love this dessert. We’ll have to find a vanilla bean next time we make this. I love working with real food. I use skim milk for every day, and it’s still delicious. Congrats on a beautiful post 🙂

    January 16, 2012
  14. Panna cotta is my favorite dessert — I cannot wait to try this!

    February 17, 2012
  15. Are you kidding? This sounds soooo good!!! I might actually be able to do this!!!

    February 17, 2012
  16. OMG, YUM!

    February 17, 2012
  17. Just pinned this beauty….

    February 21, 2012
  18. I am absolutely making this!

    February 21, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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