Buttermilk and half-and-half replace cream in this lighter Italian panna cotta recipe. If you like, garnish with curls of candied orange peel.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2015


Recipe Summary

8 hrs 40 mins
Nutrition Profile:


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place 2 tablespoons water in a large, heatproof mixing bowl and sprinkle with gelatin; let stand about 5 minutes to soften. If some of it still seems dry, sprinkle with a few more drops of water.

  • Heat half-and-half and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until steaming, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the gelatin and whisk vigorously to dissolve. Whisk in buttermilk and salt. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to strain out any lumps. Divide among eight 1-cup dessert cups or ramekins. Loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Place rhubarb in a medium glass or ceramic baking dish. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water and 5 tablespoons sugar, orange zest and juice in a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and add the bean to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the syrup mixture over the rhubarb.

  • Bake, uncovered, until the rhubarb is tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  • To serve, remove the vanilla bean from the sauce and discard. Top each panna cotta with about 2 tablespoons of the sauce.


Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate panna cotta for up to 2 days. Refrigerate sauce for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Facts

227 calories; protein 5.6g 11% DV; carbohydrates 35.2g 11% DV; dietary fiber 0.4g 2% DV; sugars 34.3g; fat 7.8g 12% DV; saturated fat 4.8g 24% DV; cholesterol 25.9mg 9% DV; vitamin a iu 287.2IU 6% DV; vitamin c 5.4mg 9% DV; folate 9.4mcg 2% DV; calcium 191.1mg 19% DV; iron 0.2mg 1% DV; magnesium 19.6mg 7% DV; potassium 291.5mg 8% DV; sodium 220.4mg 9% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 6% DV; added sugar 27g.