I love panna cotta, I really do. I like it’s cool, creamy texture, it’s light refreshing feeling as it melts on my tongue, and most of all I love the fact that there are an unlimited number of flavors you can play with to create a new version every time you make it. Panna cotta translates literally as “cooked cream” and many recipes do indeed contain heavy cream which of course creates a calorie heavy, rich pudding like dessert that although delicious is not something you’d want to enjoy too often. I often substitute lighter dairy products so I do not feel guilty when a panna cotta craving comes along. Lately, I have been experimenting with using light buttermilk and yogurt in my recipes and really enjoy the slight tangy flavor both these ingredients add to the creamy texture.
In this recipe, I used my all-time favorite fat free Greek yogurt, Fage, and if you have never tried this yogurt it is amazing. Thick and creamy, with no fat, 20 grams of protein and just 120 calories per one cup serving, I enjoy this yogurt on a daily basis. I knew this yogurt would work well in this recipe as it is so thick and creamy. I combined the yogurt with skim milk, and natural organic honey to sweeten it just a little. To serve, I added a spoonful of dried apricots I had slowly cooked in white wine and a little more honey. You could use any fruit you prefer to top your panna cotta, including chopped fresh berries. The only thing you need to remember is that it is best to add the yogurt after the milk has been heated, and not heat it along with the milk so it doesn’t break down at all. I love this panna cotta, mostly because I can enjoy it for breakfast, as a dessert after dinner, or even as a mid-day snack without feeling guilty.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 Cup Plus 3 Tablespoons Skim Milk
- 1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
- 1/4 to 1/3 Cup Organic Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Fat Free Greek Yogurt (I Prefer Fage Brand)
- 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Dried Apricots
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1/4 Cup Organic Honey
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 3 tablespoons of milk, and allow to rest for 5 minutes to soften.
- In a saucepan, heat the remaining 1 cup of milk until it is simmering but before it comes to a full boil.
- Add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of the honey, stir and taste.
- Add the remaining honey if you prefer it sweeter.
- Whisk in the gelatin and continue to whisk until it has completed melted into the hot milk.
- Stir in the two cups of yogurt and mix until well blended.
- Pour the mixture into 6 (1/2 cup ramekins) or 4 larger glasses as shown in the photo and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours.
- For the topping, place the apricots in a saucepan with the honey and wine and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, and continue to cook until the apricots are very soft, and the wine and honey have thickened, about 20 minutes, then cool.
- To serve, place a scoop of the apricots on each panna cotta with some of the syrup.