Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta



  • For the strawberry layer:
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice, about
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1/4-ounce or 7g)
  • For the panna cotta (cream) layer:
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1/4-ounce or 7g)
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon regular vanilla extract)
  • For the topping:
  • fresh blueberries, for topping
  • mint sprigs for garnish


For the strawberry layer

  1. Combine strawberries and sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power for 2 minutes. Stir and cook another 2 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve, pressing on berries with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Add lemon juice. Measure the amount of strawberry juice.It should right around 1 2/3 cups. If it’s not quite 1 2/3 cups, add a bit of fresh orange juice. Set aside.
  2. Put 1/3 cup cold water into a small microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes, then place in microwave for 10 seconds. Add to strawberry juice mixture; stir well.
  3. Clear off an area in your refrigerator to hold 4 dessert glasses. (Each glass should hold about 1 1/4 cups liquid.) Pour 1/4 cup strawberry juice mixture into each of the four glasses. Set remaining strawberry gelatin aside. Refrigerate glasses until gelatin is completely set, about 1 hour. (See tips below for even layers)

For the panna cotta (cream) layer

  1. Put 1/3 cup cold water into a small microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes, then place in microwave and cook on high for 10 seconds.
  2. Combine cream, and sugar into a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 2 minutes until starting to simmer. Remove from microwave and add vanilla bean paste and gelatin, stir until gelatin has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  3. Place yogurt in a separate medium size bowl. Whisk until creamy and smooth. While whisking, slowly add heavy cream/sugar mixture. Whisk till smooth. Set aside.

For the layering

  1. When strawberry gelatin layer has set, add 1/4 cup of the cream mixture to each glass. Cover remaining cream and set aside (keep at room temperature). Refrigerate glasses until cream (panna cotta) layer is set, about 1 hour.
  2. Repeat layering with remaining strawberry and cream mixtures, forming 4 layers, waiting an hour in between layers.
  3. Serve with fresh blueberries and mint sprigs for garnish. Can be made 2-3 days in advance.


A few tips for pretty layering:

  1. Before starting to layer, clear off a shelf in your refrigerator for the four glasses. Do all the layer pouring right there in the refrigerator. Otherwise every time you try to move the glasses in and out, you’ll mess up the layers.
  2. Use a small mouth funnel to pour the layers. You’ll have much less mess and much prettier layers.
  3. If the panna cotta mixture or the strawberry mixture starts to get a little thick in between pouring layers, just pop it back in the microwave for 10 seconds before pouring the next layer.
  4. Be sure to wait until the previous layer is congealed before adding the next. Mine took an hour but each refrigerator is different.

Mothers Secret Recipes of Comfort Food & Culinary Inspiration from an Organic and Allergen-free Approach