If you like lemon you will LOVE, LOVE this dessert! Meyer-Lemon Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta is so incredibly creamy, cool and lemony – hands down, the best tasting dessert I have had in a long time.

The panna cotta is flecked with little bits of vanilla bean and lemon zest. I served this with some of my Strawberry Lavender Jam for extra sweetness and a touch of strawberry with the tart lemon.

You can also make this panna cotta in individual ramekins (makes six) instead of in a jello mold. I made mine for a dinner party so that guests could serve themselves. Decorate the finished panna cotta with fresh strawberries and blackberries. Looks and tastes fantastic and super easy to make.

Here is how you can make your own:

Meyer Lemon – Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
based on the recipe by Marlena Spieler
serves 6 – 8

1 envelope Knox Gelatin
1 cup + 2 Tbls. sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup freshly squeezed and strained Meyer Lemon Juice
2 Tbls. lemon zest
1 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt (Fage)
1 tsp. vanilla bean extract (or the seeds from one vanilla bean)
1 tsp. lemon extract

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl and let soften for around 5 minutes.

Combine sugar and 1/2 cup of water in pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the gelatin mixture, mixing until dissolved. Add cream, lemon juice, zest. Let cool to room temperature.

Put Greek yogurt into a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla bean extract and lemon extract whisking until fully incorporated. Add the cream mixture a little at a time, whisking to fully incorporate. Let mixture set so there are no more air bubbles coming to the surface.

Pour into a mold (at least 5 cup capacity) or into 6 ramekins. Tap the mold (or ramekins) on the counter lightly to disperse any bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hrs. for the ramekins or overnight for the mold.


To unmold panna cotta: fill sink with enough hot tap water to cover the bottom and sides of the mold. Place mold in sink for one minute, be careful not get the water into the mold (I placed a wine bottle on the mold to keep in from floating). Invert onto serving platter. You may have to place the mold back into the hot water for another minute to get it loose, just don’t leave in hot water for very long or it will start to melt!

After the panna cotta is on the serving platter, fill a small bowl with Strawberry Lavender Jam and place in the center of plate. Scatter fresh berries around the outside of panna cotta. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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