Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce


I seem to be on a panna cotta kick lately.  I’ve noticed that chocolate desserts on restaurant menus have been taking second place over their milky counterparts.  I suspect it was a taste of my parents’ maja blanca recently that awakened my desire for some subtle, silky, milky flavor.  Maja blanca, a traditional filipino dessert, is made with coconut milk, corn and topped with latik (la-tik), fried coconut milk curd.  When it sets, the maja blanca has a texture very similar to panna cotta and has a subtleness in flavor that I enjoy a lot.  In fact, maja blanca is one of the few filipino desserts that I actually like since it is not overly sweet.  And since I have yet to tackle this old favorite, I opted to make panna cotta instead.

Nearly a quart of leftover buttermilk encouraged me to try a lighter panna cotta this time around.  A quick Google search yielded several recipes that promised a refreshing treat so I was sold.  Panna cotta is appealing as is but if used as a blank canvas, it is perfectly adaptable to different flavors.  The original recipe suggested adding a bit of Anisette or Pernod for a more sophisticated touch (and of course, some anise flavor) but I chose to concentrate on citrus flavors to highlight the tanginess of the buttermilk.  Adding some sweetness, the blueberry sauce seemed just the perfect accompaniment.

Please note that if you are more accustomed to the mellow flavor of a traditional panna cotta, you will be surprised by the bright tang that hits your taste buds.  Initially, all I detected was the buttermilk but a few more bites revealed the citrus freshness of the meyer lemon zest (You can see the yellow flecks in the second photo).  The verdict? This is a nice variation on the traditional panna cotta.  Craving satisfied.

By the way, this is my 100th post, yippee!  How time flies!  In just a couple of months I’ll be celebrating one year of sharing recipes and bits of my life with you.  Thanks for continuing to come back to join me.  It’s made for a truly fabulous last 10 months.  🙂


Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

* Panna Cotta recipe adapted from Salon.com and Blueberry Sauce from Cooking Light

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons (7 grams) unflavored gelatin (I used 10 grams for a firmer custard)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces sugar (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) (I used slightly less than 1/2 cup, about 3.2 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and/or 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate (I didn’t have orange juice concentrate but I did have an old can of passion/guava/orange juice concentrate so I used that.  Don’t judge.  Returning from Hawaii always has me craving guava juice so I buy the canned stuff then never use it. It worked great in this recipe)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Anisette or Pernod, to taste (optional; I bought a bottle but decided to skip it in this recipe)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apple juice (Since I already had a can of the tropical juice concentrate, I used that)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used slightly less)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups blueberries

Stir gelatin into milk.  Let sit for at least five minutes before using.

Heat the cream, sugar, salt and lemon zest/orange juice concentrate in a small saucepan over low heat; stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the gelatin-milk mixture and continue to heat.  Stir the mixture constantly and don’t let it come up to a simmer. Take the pan off the heat and pour into a large bowl.  Let the cream cool for a few minutes.

Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract.  Pour the mixture into six glasses or 3/4 cup ramekins (My ramekins were a bit larger so I had 5 servings).  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or until set. See the link above for much more detailed instructions.

For the sauce, bring the juice, sugar and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves then lower heat slightly.  Add the blueberries and cook for about 8 minutes or until the berries begin to pop.  Cool to room temperature and serve with the chilled panna cotta.


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  1. WOW!!! Congrats on your 100th post! Amazing, isn’t it? How time flies? And congrats on a goodlooking panna cotta. The blueberry sauce is gorgeous, too!

  2. Jean – Congrats on the 100th post!!! Glad to call you my friend and watch you through this blogging journey. 🙂 I too adore panna cotta – have not ever made it , yet. It is on the list. Recently had a delicious one at Palio de Asti in San Francisco and a really tasty one at Bottega in Yountville. You have inspired me to make one soon!!

    • Likewise, Lisa! It’s been wonderful finding a new friend in you. Gosh, I haven’t been to Napa in a while. Would love to try Bottega sometime. I’m sure their panna cotta is tasty and you’d be able to make them with your hands tied behind your back, Ms. Jam-Making Queen. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. This looks delicious! I would’ve never thought to use buttermilk. Congratulations on your 100th post, friend. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you in person and throw your writing! 🙂

  4. This panna cotta looks absolutely delicious! Those pictures are amazing! I’m stuck in front of the screen. i want a bite. Congratulations on your 100th post. It’s been wonderful meeting you and reading you all this time. May this blog go on for other 1000000000 posts!

  5. Congratulations on your 100th post!! What a great way to celebrate it. Hope to see you around for another 100 =)

  6. Wow, congratulations on your 100th post. Your panna cotta looks stunning and the photo is so enticing. As I have gotten older I have found that I have really moved away from chocolate desserts and something like this is much closer to what I would want to make myself, or order in restaurant.

    • I’ve always like panna cottas but I’ve found myself favoring them over chocolate, too, lately. I’m sure the phase will pass for I can’t give up chocolate quite yet but until then, it’s nice how easy this is to prepare at home. Thanks! 🙂

  7. Gosh…that not only looks gorgeous but must taste amazing too. Love the combination.

  8. Congrats on your 100th post, that’s quite a milestone! Here’s to the next 100! Wonderful flavor combination on the panna cotta, meyer lemons and blueberries sounds like it would be great together. Maybe one of your next 100 posts will be about maja blanca, you’ve peaked my curiosity about it!

  9. Jean

    congratulations on your 100th post! I know how important that is to reach that milestone!
    I have never made panna cotta before, I don’t know why I love it….yours does look delicious especially with that blueberry sauce! It sounds like the perfect dessert!


  10. I seriously dig panna cotta, and that blueberry sauce looks amazing! Great job, and congrats on 100 posts!

  11. Gorgeous dessert! Congrats on your 100th post!!!

  12. Congrats on the 100th and what a way to celebrate!! Beautiful panna cotta.

  13. This is lovely. Something i would definitely choose over a chocolate dessert. As comforting as maja blanca but with the zing of blueberries ( which I utterly love). Congratulations on your 100th post and more power!

  14. Lovely!

  15. Hi Jean: Congrats on your milestone 100th post – and in only 10 months!! 🙂

    I’ve never had panna cotta. Is the texture like a custard? It looks creamy and luscious and I’m sure I’d like it. The Maja blanca you mentioned sounds fantastic too – I’m going to ask my Mom if she’s familiar with it (or if my grandparents made it).

    Panna cotta will be on my list this year of desserts to try. 🙂

    • Hi Cristina,
      Yes, the texture is like a custard/pudding. You can make the panna cotta as soft or as firm as you would like, actually. In this case, I used a little more gelatin to make it a bit firmer but I like them all.

      I’ll have to borrow my mom’s maja blanca recipe so I can share with everyone. Are you part filipino, too? I didn’t realize that. 🙂

  16. Love this Jean! And Happy 100th post!

  17. Great looking panna cotta for your 100th post! I’ll have to remember this recipe when I have excess buttermilk on hand!

  18. congrats on your 100th post! that is just amazing:) this recipe sounds so yummy and it looks really stunning.

  19. WOW! Congrats on your 100th post – what an achievement!! Beautiful pictures as well 🙂 best wishes on your next 100!

  20. Congratulations on the 100th post!! Your blog is one of the first that I started following when I started blogging and I have truly enjoyed your posts. Looking forward to the next 100+!
    I haven’t been a big panna cotta fan, but recently have had a few that I have truly enjoyed. I’m even more intrigued with the buttermilk here, one of my favorite ingredients. I think I’m actually inspired to try!

    • Thanks so much, Kim. It’s been nice getting to know you through your blog–I enjoy following you, as well. Panna Cotta in restaurants can be hit and miss, I think. Glad you’ve been able to enjoy some out there. 🙂

  21. Congrats on your 100th post! I love your choice of recipe for such a milestone post… I’m a sucker for milky, custardy sorts of desserts like panna cotta. I bet the buttermilk gives this one a nice tangy flavour, too!

  22. anabela pereira says:

    Congrats on your 100th post, the look is delicious 🙂

  23. Your panna cotta looks so perfect 🙂
    I am always afraid to make them or anything with gelatin.. 🙂 But I think some day I will dare and will try

  24. I have never made a panna cotta, but I have made a Bavarian. They seem pretty similar. Especially in deliciousness!

  25. Happy 100th post! That panna cotta looks amazing and that sauce, mmmmm…I love the sauce! I have never made a panna cotta, but I’d like to…just a bit chicken, that’s all. 😉

  26. Congratulations on your 100th. What a wonderful celebratory dessert to make. Can’t wait to read the next 100.

    I’ve never had that sauce on a panna cotta; I will have to try it. Thanks!

  27. This is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful 100th post. Congratulations. =)

  28. I bet panna cotta and blueberries go so well together. I’ve never made a panna cotta before. Maybe it’s time. Your looks amazing. Happy 100th post Jean!!! A wonderful way to mark it.

  29. Congrats on your 100th post! Your panna cotta looks so good that I want to make it soon. Better yet, I want to eat some right now. Good job!

  30. One hundred posts…warmest congratulations! Your blog is such a beautiful place, and I love visiting it again and again. This recipe is one of the many reasons I think you are so successful: your writing is eloquent, your recipes are unique and your photographs are beautiful. Thank you for sharing this tangy panna cotta with me. Stay warm and safe during the rest of the week!

    • Monet, thank you so much for saying these sweet things. You know I think the same about you. Your sweet creations are always an inspiration. Your creative writing is icing on the the already beautiful cakes. 🙂

  31. Congratulations on your 100th post, Jean. What a milestone! I’ve never made panna cotta, but I adore its luscious creaminess and yours is so gorgeous with the blueberries.

  32. Congratulations on your 100th post. It’s been wonderful meeting you and reading you all this time.
    The panna cotta looks and sounds delicious. Love the addition on the blueberry sauce and I’m so intrigued by the use of buttermilk.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Best wishes,

  33. I see the little flecks of lemon zest. This does sound delicious with the blueberries and so pretty!

    Congratulations on your 100th post!

  34. This looks lovely (and I really like the plate)! Well done on 100 posts – you’ve been far more prolific than I. I’ve only managed 72 posts in a year – guess I’d best get busy! 😉

  35. Congratulations on 100 posts! This was a great way to celebrate! It looks fabulous!

  36. congrats on 100th! but who would judge poorly on using guava concentrate…this looks great!

  37. Sweet Artichoke says:

    This is a delicious recipe, with beautiful pictures!
    As it is my first time on your blog, all I can say is waow! I like your recipes and the pictures! I am definitely going to follow it regularly 🙂

  38. Hi Jean! Congrats on your 1ooth! It goes by fast, doesn’t it?!? I too am coming up on my 1 year anniversary. I think we both started our blogs sometime in Spring. I often see panna cotta on the dessert menu of Japanese cafes but I never think to order it. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve eaten it but next time I’m out, I’ll have to try it, although I doubt I will be offered a beautiful blueberry puree as a topping! This looks fabulous. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  39. Congratulations on your 100th post…wow 🙂 And wow again on this panna cotta dessert, just gorgeous. I don’t believe I have ever has a version like this and I love it!

  40. What a beautiful dessert! And congrats on your upcoming blogaversary!

  41. Congrats and best wishes for continued success.
    I love your china.


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