• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Buttermilk Panna Cotta


Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Peppercorns & Mixed Berries

By Andrew Zimmern

Panna cotta, which literally means “cooked cream,” is an Italian custard-like chilled dessert with a luxurious, silky smooth texture. At its core, it’s a simple mixture of cream, sugar and gelatin. It’s not an egg-based custard, nor does it require a water bath or a blow torch, therefore it’s very quick and easy to make at home—10 minutes to stir together and a few hours to set in the fridge, and you have the best make-ahead dessert I can think of. In this recipe, we’ve added peppercorns and buttermilk to give the panna cotta a subtle tang and depth of flavor. Top with fresh seasonal fruit, a berry compote, salted caramel sauce or aged balsamic glaze.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Peppercorns & Mixed Berries

Servings: 4


  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 /2 cup sugar
  • 1  1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1  3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Mixed berries, for serving


In a saucepan, bring the black peppercorns, sugar and cream to a simmer. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Place the buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Reserve.

In a separate bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

Pour the hot cream mixture through a sieve into gelatin, and stir to combine. Discard peppercorns. Allow this mixture to cool.

Once the cream and gelatin have cooled to lukewarm, pour through a sieve into the buttermilk. Stir to combine.

Divide into four custard cups. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

Garnish with mixed berries and serve.

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