Panna Cotta with Fresh Raspberry Sauce

Guest recipe from Candace Tinkler

We met Candace at an educational community event here in Crescent City. She retired last year after working for the National Park Service for 37 years. She is also a musician and looks for how to read a recipe like a piece of music – finding the notes of flavor and how they blend.

Her recipe is for panna cotta with fresh raspberry sauce.  She first enjoyed it at a farm while on a walking tour of Tuscany, Italy, many years ago. This recipe is from Ina Garten's "Cook Like a Pro" cookbook. There are a variety of versions for panna cotta, but Candace like this one best.

She says when made with rich cream and yogurt from Alexandre Family Farm it rises to the level of food for the gods!

This is a good dinner party dessert because you make it ahead of time without too much fuss, it looks beautiful, and Candace has yet to meet a soul who didn't love it. She likes to serve it in fancy wine glasses or large vintage champagne coupes.

Candace loves driving out to our Alexandre Family Farm store, waving to the chickens and cows along the way. She think our farm is one of the jewels of our community.

The photo is of the Panna Cotta in one of Candace’s antique glasses. During Covid last year, she made some neighbors very happy by walking to their homes and handing it out – albeit in simpler glasses. Mangia bene!

(from Ina Garten’s “Cook Like a Pro”. Must chill overnight. Serves 7 to 8)

  • 2 teaspoons (1 packet) unflavored gelatin. (I like to add about ½ teaspoon more gelatin for a bit firmer panna cotta.)
  • 3 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups plain or vanilla whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur
  • Fresh Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 2 (6-ounce) packages fresh raspberries

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on 3 tablespoons cold water. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to dissolve.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together 1½ cups of the cream, the yogurt, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds. Heat the remaining 1½ cups of the cream and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves. Off the heat, stir the softened gelatin into the hot cream and stir until dissolved. Pour the hot cream and gelatin mixture into the cream and yogurt mixture and stir in the Grand Marnier. Pour into 7 or 8 serving glasses and refrigerate uncovered until cold. When the panna cotta are thoroughly chilled, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, spoon 2 tablespoons of the fresh raspberry sauce on each panna cotta and to with fresh raspberries. Serve cold.

Fresh Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 6-ounce package fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam (not fruit spread)
  • 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (raspberry liqueur)

Place the raspberries, sugar, and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and the framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Pour into a container and chill. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week.