Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

November 4, 2017


Pumpkin Panna Cotta & A Sendoff

panna cotta

In honor of my good friend K. who was about to set off on an adventure to the south Pacific, I had a few women in for lunch. I kept the menu simple-a wild mushroom tart and a salad. Much to the surprise of my guests I also served a dessert-not sure why this was unexpected, but in my book if you have people over a meal, dessert is a given!

I toyed with the idea of making burnt caramel pudding or apple crisp, and had finally decided on Dorie Greenspan’s Custardy Apple Squares when I remembered a pumpkin spiced  panna cotta that I tried a few years back. In terms of simplicity, panna cotta is right on the top of my dessert list. It comes together in less than fifteen minutes and uses only one saucepan. This recipe calls for making caramel sauce which I’ve done in the past, but this time I used a good quality purchased sauce.

I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, maybe because I find it too heavy both in texture and in spices. This panna cotta uses the same flavors, but with a much lighter hand. You could certainly forego the caramel sauce, but why would you? Pumpkin panna cotta would be a nice ending to your Thanksgiving meal-light and creamy, yet packed with all the flavors that we’ve come to associate with the holiday.


Pumpkin Panna Cotta

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 packet powdered gelatin

3 tbsp. cold water

3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp cold water

1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup

6 tbsp unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the sauce by combining the sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed pan until it has boiled to a deep amber color. Do not stir.

Add the butter and whisk until it’s all mixed through. Add the cream and vanilla and whisk again. Boil gently for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. After 5-10 minutes, pour about an inch of sauce into the base of each mold you’re going to use. Place them in the fridge while you make the panna cotta.

In a medium bowl, Add the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water. Take a large pot and place the cream and sugar into it. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the spices, vanilla and pumpkin. Whisk gently until everything is incorporated. Gradually pour the cream mixture into the gelatin/water and whisk to combine.

Take the molds from the fridge and make sure the caramel sauce has begun to set. Gently pour some of the cream mixture on top of each caramel sauce. Place the filled molds back into the fridge and let them set for at least 6 hours or overnight. Serves: 8

Panini Girl In Lucca May 2018 get in touch @


6 thoughts on “Pumpkin Panna Cotta & A Sendoff

  1. Complimenti on your 10th anniversary. And to think I have only just discovered you. I look forward to following along.

  2. hi fellow traveler…jani do u invert the ramekins like a flan! the sugar syrup is on the bottom..a little confused…sorry…hope all is well with u guys, we may be in cali over the xmas holiday will let u know for sure…hugs

  3. The ultimate in Thanksgiving desserts and I just adore the small mason jar presentation.

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