Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Blueberries and Nectarines


Last week was a huge milestone for me…I went on a mini vacation without my baby for 4 WHOLE DAYS! You heard that correctly…It was 4 days with no diapers, no bedtimes,  no schedule and no crying! For a few days leading up to the trip, I admit, I was having a bit of anxiety at the thought of being without Everly for a few days. But Eric was staying with her and I knew she was the best hands. Plus, it would be great daddy-daughter time for them and some much needed adult time for me.

So last Sunday, my mom, our good friend Marissa, and myself hopped on a plane headed for L.A. It was a total “girls” trip with full days of shopping and eating. For those of you that follow my Instagram account, you may have noticed that there was a lot of restaurants visited and they were all amazing! We lunched at The Ivy where we sipped champagne sangria, (I may have to try to replicate this soon!) and where we sat next to the Wayans brothers. We visited Sur, and saw a few people from their reality show, (not that I knew anyone since I’ve never watched it!). We had sushi at Koi and were lucky enough to sit next to the even more handsome in person Colin Farrell! But one of the best meals we had was at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. All of their pastas are made in house and they were to die for! We each had something different and not one dish out did the other. And to top it off, we ordered the panna cotta for dessert. 

It was so creamy and rich but not too heavy which was perfect after the big bowls of pasta we had just devoured! I decided right then and there that this was the next dish to cook for you all!

Surprisingly panna cotta is a cinch to make! And the best part is that you can customize the dessert to your own likes…the possibilities are endless! I decided to keep it fairly simple with one scraped vanilla bean and a blueberry nectarine compote, but even as I was photographing…and eating…I was already brainstorming up other flavor combos!

For the panna cotta:

 3 cups whole fat half and half

3 tsp powered gelatin

1/3 cup of sugar

pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

For the blueberry and nectarine compote:

1/2 cup blueberries

1 nectarine chopped up

2 Tbs sugar

In a saucepan, pour the milk in and then sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let sit for about 5 mins until softened. (the milk will look wrinkly)

Turn burner on low and whisk until all the gelatin has melted into the milk. DO NOT LET MILK SIMMER OR BOIL…this will kill the gelatin. You want the milk to be warm/hot but not to the simmer point. If you see steam, remove from heat and whisk until temperature comes down.

Whisk in the sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt and the scraped insides of the vanilla bean.

Pour into ramekins, that you have greased. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until set. To invert them on a plate, use a butter knife to loosen up the sides, then dip ramekin in a bowl of warm water for a few seconds. Place plate upside-down on top of ramekin and carefully flip and remove.

To make fruit compote, Bring blueberries, nectarines and sugar to a slight boil and then simmer until fruit breaks down and it thickens up to the consistency you want. Chill and serve with panna cotta.

adapted from the