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Buttermilk Panna Cotta in a Jam Jar

Panna cotta is a cream-based dessert similar to a custard or pudding, but it uses gelatin instead of eggs or starch, giving it a fresher taste. It’s great for gluten-free folks and doesn’t require turning on your oven. Buttermilk lightens it and lends a tang that pairs beautifully with whatever jam and fruit you have on hand.

Often panna cotta is unmolded for serving, but I love to make them in empty jelly jars, then screw on the lid for an easy picnic dessert.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
2 cups buttermilk
zest of 1/2 a lemon
Potlicker jam and fresh fruit

Mix gelatin and cold water together and set aside.

Heat cream, sugar, and zest, on the stove or in the microwave, until the mix is simmering and sugar is dissolved. Stir in the gelatin mixture, followed by the buttermilk.

Divide mixture between 6-8 jars, juice glasses, ramekins, small bowls, etc. and chill at least 5 hours. Once firmly set, top with fruit & jam. Serve chilled.

For a layer of jam in the center of the dessert, fill the jar halfway with the cream mixture. Chill about 1 hour, until mostly set. Gently spread the jam on top of the chilled panna cotta, then pour another layer of cream mixture on top of the jam.