Tangerine Panna Cotta or Pannacotta

  • Serves: Makes five 10-ounce servings
  • Views: 17681
  • Comments: 12

Panna cotta or pannacotta is a traditional Piemontese recipe -- the name means "cooked cream" in Italian. There are numerous variations on this wonderful light and delicious recipe, but I find that this recipe turns out especially creamy and smooth, as well as flavorful. Panna Cotta is typically made by boiling together milk or buttermilk, cream and sugar, and then mixing it with gelatin and flavoring it, often with vanilla. This creative recipe, brings back the childhood memories of eating Creamsicles...creamy vanilla with sweet-tart tangerine goodness.
An absolutely irresistible combination!


Always zest a few of the 12 - 13 tangerines before you squeeze juice from them.


1 cup tangerine juice (from 12-13 tangerines); can substitute with orange juice - zest a few for the garnish before you juice
1 extra tangerine, to be sliced and reserved for gelee

1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons sugar

1 extra tangerine; use innards for pieces of fruit
2 - 3 tablespoons tangerine zest; obtain from 12 - 13 tangerines, above
Whipped cream, optional

Prepare the zest garnish:
1. Zest the tangerines until you get about 2 - 3 tablespoons.

2. Place the tangerine zest on a paper towel, on a microwaveable plate, and microwave it at half power, in 2 minute increments, until it is dry.
Set dried zest aside, to use for garnish.

Prepare the nectarine juice:
2. Then, juice the tangerines. Strain it and measure out 1 cup of juice.

Prepare the equipment:
See below for an example:
1. Pour rice half way into a large baking pan.

2. Place five 10-ounce heatproof individual serving glasses into the rice at a sharp angle, using the rice to support them.
Set aside until needed.

Make the Tangerine Gelee:
1. Place the gelatin in a small bowl and pour the cold water over it. Stir.

2. Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place the tangerine juice in a small saucepan and add sugar. Then, stir.

4. Heat the juice mixture till it reaches a boil.

5. Then, immediately remove from the heat.
Add the gelatin mixture, stirring until it is dissolved.

6. Transfer juice/gelatin mixture into a heat-proof measuring cup or a container with a pour spout.
Carefully pour about 1/4 cup each of the mixture into each glass container.
NOTE: I used a heat-proof fat separating measuring cup with a spout; it is perfect because when pouring the juice/gelatin mixture into the glass, it helps keep the sides of it free of splashes.

KELLY CA SAYS: Only four glasses are show here, but I used 5.

7. Place filled glasses, set in the rice in its pan, in the refrigerator, till the gelatin is "soft set".
This takes about 20 minutes.

While the gelatin sets, make the panna cotta.

2 packets powdered gelatin (4 1/2 teaspoons)
6 tablespoons cold water

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)

1. Place the gelatin in a small bowl and pour the cold water over it. Stir.

2. Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium size heavy-bottom pot, combine the cream, milk and sugar.

4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot and/or small bubbles appear in it around the edge of the pan; do not let it boil.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

6. Whisk the softened gelatin into the hot cream/milk mixture, until dissolved.

7. Strain the hot cream/milk mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl.
Discard any clumped gelatin pieces from the strainer.

8. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the milk/cream's surface so a milky film won't form, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Stir occasionally, replacing the plastic wrap on its surface.

9. When the panna cotta (milk/cream mixture) reaches room temperature, transfer it into a large pitcher, a Pyrex glass measuring cup or container with a pouring spout.
NOTE: You will later pour the room temperature cream/milk mixture into the serving glasses.
I used a heat proof fat separating measuring cup with a spout; it is perfect because when later pouring the room temperature cream/milk mixture into the glass,
it helps keep the sides of it free of splashes.

Reserved 1 extra tangerine

1. While the panna cotta is cooling to room temperature, peel the reserved tangerine and cut it in very thin slices.
Make sure you have one slices for each serving, or five for this recipe.

2. Check on gelee, in the refrigerator.
If it has set up to a soft-set, for each glass, take one tangerine slice and push it through the semi-set gelee and press it to the side of the glass.
NOTES: Because the gelee is partially set, it will keep the tangerine slice one the side of the glass.
If the slice floats back up, your gelee is not set enough yet. Place it back in the fridge until it gets a little more set.

Repeat for the remaining gelees in their glasses.

3. Place the pan with the gelee filled glasses back in the refrigerator until the gelee is completely set.
This should take an additional 20 minutes or so.

4. Remove the gelee filled glasses from the refrigerator ONLY when it is fully set.
Place the glasses, upright, on the counter.

5. Pour equal amounts or the room temperature panna cotta mixture into each glass.
NOTE: Make sure the panna cotta mixture is not warm, otherwise it will heat and melt the set tangerine gelee.

6. Place the glasses back in the refrigerator and chill until panna cotta is completely set.
This takes at least 2 hours, but may take up to 4 hours.

Serve chilled.
KELLY SAYS: You may serve the panna cotta as is, but I chose to add a little whipped cream, with a sprinkling of the dried zest, and a fresh tangerine section on top.

Panna cotta must remain refrigerated. It will keep for a few days. It does not freeze.

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