Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta – Light, Creamy and Perfectly Delicious!

Early Sunday morning my sister Judy and I headed for the downtown Sacramento Farmers’ Market. This morning’s market visit was to buy fruit and vegetables for the week and to also get some Meyer lemons for a recipe that we were going to make that morning.

I had recently found a recipe for Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta. It was included in a recent article by Marlena Spieler, a freelance writer for, called Former thief\’s new squeeze: Meyer Lemon Ladies.  Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert made with cream, milk, sugar, and gelatin and literally means “cooked cream”. It originated in the Northern Italian region of Piemonte. and is traditionally served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis. The only way I had previously tried it was topped with fresh mixed berries. Which I might add was very good. But, since Meyer lemons are currently in season I really wanted to try this version.

The recipe didn’t disappoint. It was easy to prepare. It was light, yet rich and creamy. Overall it was perfectly delicious. I have a feeling that this will be one of those recipes I use over and over again. I’ll definitely try it again, a little later in the season, topped off  with some fresh blueberries or strawberries.

Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta

Serves 6 – 8

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1 cup + 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup Meyer lemon juice (4-6 Meyer lemons)

2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest

1 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt

Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup cold water in a small bowl; let it soften for 5 minutes or until no dry spots remain.

Combine sugar and ½ cup of water in a saucepan; bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and add the gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Add cream, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let cool slightly.

Put yogurt in a mixing bowl and whisk to loosen it up. Add the cream mixture, little by little, gently stirring after each addition to break up any lumps of yogurt before adding more cream. Do not over stir.

Pour mixture into a 5-cup bowl or mold. I used 7 individual ramekins. Tap the bowl on the counter to remove air bubbles. Cover and chill until set, 6 hours or overnight.

As you can see I finished mine off with Meyer lemon peel. I’m in love with this recipe hope you will be too.

Thank you’s go out to Marlena for sharing this jewel of a recipe, and to my sister Judy for actually making it while I was working on several vegetable dishes for a dinner we were going to later in the day.

11 thoughts on “Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta – Light, Creamy and Perfectly Delicious!

  1. I recently taught a class at Williams-Sonoma that included a recipe for panna cotta. I call it “cream jello”! It was served with lemon curd, I’ll be sure to try your recipe with Meyer lemons.

  2. Will be having friends for dinner in a couple of nights and came back to look over the recipe. I have all the ingredients except the lemons, but I have limes. I think I may substitute them for the lemons. Here in NM we get the bounty of the little key limes from Mexico at this time of year … and my sis gave me the perfect squeezer tool that fits them to a T.

    • I would definitely try this with the Key limes, CC. Unfortunately we don’t get Key limes in abundance this far north but I do love them. The recipe should be terrific using the limes. Enjoy.

  3. Ann,
    Really am enjoying your way of writing about cooking. I will be sharing with my niece, sis and daughter. This panna cotta sounds like a great creamy delight, something that would satisfy much better than ice cream.

  4. Landon’s Pick at the Farmers’ Market – Juicy Strawberries! « Anniespickns's Blog

  5. Mine did not set up overnight. Maybe I stirred it too much? Still tastes good even as a liquid ;-), so I’ll try it again.

    • Maybe it was the gelatin? Judy made ours around 10 in the morning and it was pretty set when we at it later that afternoon around 3. I ate one the next day and it was even more set. I’d definitely give it another try! Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

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