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Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Compote

e Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Compote
Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Compote

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at

To paraphrase The Seattle Times Food and Wine Editor, Russ Parsons, “The best panna cotta is like a dream of cream held together by faith and just a little bit of gelatin.” I couldn’t agree more except to say that the best panna cotta just might be this citrusy version garnished with vanilla-spiked blood orange compote.

Zesty Tip: You can reuse vanilla beans! The flavor won’t be as strong, but there’s still lots going on in the pod. Rinse and dry and then try one of the following…

  1. Plunge in a few cups of sugar to flavor it for a topping on sugar cookies.
  2. Plunge into a bottle of vodka, just keep adding beans as you have them.
  3. Add to mulled ciders.
  4. Add to simple syrups for cocktails.

For more citrusy sweet treats, discover my favorite desserts featuring loads of fresh lemons, limes and oranges.

Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Compote

Start-to-Finish: 5 hours
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Serves 6


For the Panna Cotta

  • Vegetable oil for brushing the ramekins
  • Zest from 2 blood oranges
  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice, about 4 oranges
  • One 1/4 oz/7 g packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

For the Compote

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Zest of 1 blood orange
  • 3 blood oranges, sectioned (see Zesty Tip below)


For the Panna Cotta

  1. Brush six 1 cup ramekins with vegetable oil and set aside.
  2. Set the orange zest aside and add the juice into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top to let it soften for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the whipping cream with the sugar, vanilla bean, salt and orange zest to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the orange gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream. Discard the bean or rinse it off, dry it to use for another purpose (see Zesty Tip above).
  4. Strain the mixture into the buttermilk and stir to combine. Divide the panna cotta liquid among the prepared ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
  5. To serve, run a sharp knife around the edges to break the suction, place a serving plate over the top and invert the ramekin so that the dessert settles onto the plate. If it doesn’t release, dip the bottom of the ramekin into hot water for a few seconds then try again. Garnish with blood orange compote ( see below).
  6. Make-Ahead: Can be made up to two days ahead of serving, kept covered and refrigerated.

For the Compote

Zesty Tip: To section oranges, cut away the peel and pith with a sharp knife. Cut between the membranes of the orange to release each section directly into a bowl. When done, squeeze the remaining juice into the bowl with the sections.

  1. Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and zest in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds back into the syrup. Discard the bean or rinse it off, dry it to use for another purpose (see Zesty tip above).
  2. Cool the syrup and add the blood orange sections. Chill and spoon over the blood orange panna cotta.

Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Compote

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Compote.


Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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