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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.
Course 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.
Keyword Jam, Sweets