Lemon Panna Cotta

Lemon Panna Cotta

I’m staying in this Valentine’s Day to have a romantic sunset dinner by the fire.

Since my sweetie is cooking and making me dinner as my Valentine’s present, I offered to make us a special dessert. One of my favorite special occasion desserts is Lemon Panna Cotta. It is so delicious and can be made ahead of time, saving time on the actual special day for us to attend a Couple’s Thai Yoga Massage Class. Check out my favorite Lemon Panna Cotta recipe below…

There is nothing more delicious than this scrumptious Italian dessert, Lemon Panna Cotta.  I found this recipe at www.CooksIllustrated.com which is a great resource as they test recipes umpteen times and then give you the best recipe. For this recipe, I used local Texas Milk-King Cream and my favorite local goat’s milk from Swede Farms. As always, I love to hear from you so please send me a comment or picture of your Valentine’s Lemon Panna Cotta.

Lemon Panna Cotta
Recipe type: dessert
  • 1 cup organic whole milk ((cow or goat) (ideally raw or low temp pasteurized))
  • 2¾ teaspoons gelatin (I use Vital Proteins, Great Lakes or Bernard Jensen brand but you can use the plain gelatin at the store)
  • 3 cups organic heavy cream (ideally raw or low temp pasteurized)
  • 2 inch piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise with paring knife (or substitute 2 teaspoons extract)
  • 4 pieces lemon zest (about 2 inches long by ½ inch wide), cut into julienne strips
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice from 1-2 medium lemons
  • 6 tablespoons organic cane sugar (you could also use honey)
  • Pinch good salt
  1. Pour milk into medium saucepan.
  2. Sprinkle surface evenly with gelatin.
  3. Let stand 10 minutes to hydrate gelatin.
  4. Measure cream into large measuring cup or pitcher.
  5. With paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds into cream.
  6. Place vanilla bean in cream along with seeds.
  7. Add julienne lemon peel, and set mixture aside.
  8. Alternatively, mix in vanilla extract.
  9. Set eight wine glasses or 4-ounce ramekins on baking sheet.
  10. Heat milk and gelatin mixture over high heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and mixture registers 135° F on instant-readthermometer, about 1½ minutes.
  11. Move the saucepan off heat, add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved, about 1 minute.
  12. Stirring constantly, slowly pour cream mixture (or coconut milk) into saucepan containing milk.
  13. Strain mixture into large measuring cup or pitcher, stir in lemon juice, then distribute evenly among wine glasses or ramekins.
  14. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap, making sure that plastic does not mar surface of cream; refrigerate until just set (mixture should wobble when shaken gently), 4 hours.
  15. Top with sliced fresh fruit, coconut flakes or more lemon zest.



  1. says

    Hey Amanda, This looks delicious! Have you ever made panna cotta with cultured (sour) cream? I’d like to try it, but don’t want to waste a whole bunch of delicious cream if it’s not going to work…

    • Amanda Love says

      Hi Sarabeth! I love your thinking, but, no, I have not ever tried Panna Cotta with cultured cream. I love the idea but am not sure if it would work as you have to heat the cream. Heating cultured/sour cream would probably cause it to break. But I am going to brainstorm this. There must be a way to mix the gelatin in with the milk only and then stir that into the sour cream. Sounds really yummy. If anyone else has any ideas, please chime in! Sarabeth, if you do try it, please report back. Thanks for the great question, Amanda

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