Lemon Panna Cotta

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Cool down post-dinner with chef Scott Herritt’s panna cotta. The creamy lemon dessert requires a little stovetop prep followed by a big chill. Herritt flavors the classic Italian treat with lemons, lemon juice and limoncello, and drizzles it with a sauce made from raspberries and raspberry liqueur. At Grotto, they serve the sweet with crunchy pizzelle, fresh mint and dash of balsamic. Try your hand at the recipe below and give the ice cream cone a rest.


For the panna cotta:
  • 2 quarts heavy cream
  • 2 cups crème fraiche
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 lemons (halved)
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce limoncello
  • 14 gelatin sheets
For the raspberry sauce:
  • 4 pints raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup raspberry liqueur


For the panna cotta: 
  1. In a sauce pot, bring the heavy cream, crème fraiche, sugar and lemons just to a simmer. Cook (do not boil) for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice and limoncello.
  3. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water until soft (5-10 minutes). Squeeze the excess water out and add the sheets to the lemon cream, stirring until dissolved.
  4. Pass the cream mixture through a chinois or fine mesh sieve. Portion the strained mixture into pan-sprayed portion cups and refrigerate 2-4 hours to set.
For the raspberry sauce: 
  1. In a large saute pan, start cooking the raspberries over low heat with the lemon juice, sugar and honey. Stir and mash the raspberries with the back of a spoon until they are cooked with some of the liquid remaining.
  2. Stir in the liqueur and cook for 30-45 seconds more. Remove the raspberry mixture from heat.
  3. Puree the raspberry sauce in a blender and strain it through a chinois or fine mesh sieve. Chill in the refrigerator and spoon over the panna cotta just before serving.

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