A deliciously fresh prepare ahead dessert that is sure to wow your guests. The refreshing lemon cream is just set so the panna cotta has a wonderful wobble. Served with fresh blueberries this Lemon Panna Cotta is a wonderful easy yet impressive dessert.
Before Christmas I shared my festive Pear and Pomegranate Panna Cotta, and I did talk a lot about the wobble! But it really is so important, a good panna cotta needs to have a soft wobble.
This lemon panna cotta is no exception, it is flavoured with lemon zest and lemon extract and then just set. After a stint in the fridge you can turn it out and garnish it with fresh blueberries (although raspberries would be good too) and a final sprinkling of lemon zest.
What sets the lemon panna cotta?
This lemon panna cotta uses powdered gelatin to set it, but don't panic. The key to powdered gelatin is to use a sprinkle it over the surface of your liquid. If you spoon it in then it clumps together and you will struggle to remove the lumps.
Plus in this recipe, after you have sprinkled the gelatin over the milk you add it to the hot cream, this helps to dissolve the gelatin and you end up with a creamy smooth base.
If you are worried about lumps in your gelatin then strain the cream mixture through a sieve before you add it to the moulds.
Can I use lemon juice in my panna cotta?
You start by heating the cream and adding lemon zest before letting it sit and steep. This extracts the oils from the zest and gives the cream a delicious fresh flavour. Don't let the cream boil as you will end up with a bit of a skin on your cream. Also heat the cream over a medium heat so you don't scorch the bottom.
Adding lemon juice would make the cream split so to boost the lemon flavour I like to add lemon extract and a tiny amount of vanilla extract. If you can buy it then substitute in Fiori di Sicilia for both extracts.
Are panna cottas hard to unmould?
As long as you lightly oil the moulds the panna cotta should turn out easily. But if turning them out worries you, or you haven't got dome moulds then you can set the cream in small glass jars or martini glasses, like I did with these salted caramel panna cotta cups.
I like to set my lemon panna cotta in dome moulds so they can be turned out and into a plate or bowl. The flecks of lemon zest in the cream look so beautiful and they just aren't as visible if you set the panna cotta in a glass.
I loosen the edges of the lemon panna cotta and then invert the plate/bowl over the top, before gently flipping everything the correct way up.
Lemon Panna Cotta with Fresh Blueberries
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup castor sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet unflavoured gelatin powder (0.25 oz packet - about 2 ½ tsp)
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon flavourless oil
- 1 lemon
- 1 punnet of blueberries 6oz/250g
- Pour the cream and sugar into a heavy based saucepan. Add the zest of the lemon and heat until almost simmering.
- Remove from the heat and leave it to steep for at 20 minutes.
- Whilst the cream is steeping pour the milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over evenly over the top. Set aside until the cream has finished steeping.
- Place the pan of cream over a medium heat and heat it back up to almost simmering.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the milk and gelatin mixture. Continue to stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
- Stir in the lemon and vanilla extracts.
- use a pastry brush to lightly oil your moulds then carefully pour the mixture into the moulds.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours until set.
- Use a knife to ease the panna cotta away from the edge of the mould, upturn a plate onto the mould then tip the plate and mould right side up and gently easy the panna cotta out.
- Garnish with fresh blueberries and a grating of fresh lemon zest.
Lemon Panna Cotta with Fresh Blueberries Anecdote (aka my recipe ramble for those who love the waffle)
Lemon and blueberry is such a classic combination and one my kids love! I actually have to hide blueberries in our house!! You'll find my blueberries in the vegetable crisper underneath a bag of carrots. Otherwise I come to use them and find they have vanished.
I have to hide grapes and cherries too!!!!! My kids are fruit fiends!
Not only fruit though! Before now I have found my kids sat at the table with a block of cheddar, a bag of grapes and a jar of black olives. "We made morning tea Mummy!"
Still I should be grateful they weren't just munching down on my chocolate stash 😉
Right I am off to jump in the swimming pool as it is so stinkingly hot here in WA today!!!!
Have a great day xx
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For other Panna Cotta recipes try: