Panna Cotta with Spiced Pear Purée

Panna cotta (Italian for “cooked cream”) is a velvety-smooth, eggless custard and possibly one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make. This version is perfect for fall as it’s topped with a cinnamon-spiced purée of fresh pears.

Panna Cotta with Spiced Pear Purée

Panna Cotta with Spiced Pear Purée

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

With its silky, custard-like texture and cinnamon-spiced, pear purée topping, this panna cotta is easy to prepare and makes an ideal fall dessert.


For the panna cotta:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin (4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup water

For the spiced pear purée:

  • 4 ripe pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)


  1. Place the water in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir briefly, then let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour slowly over the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the cream. Pour into 6 (or 8) individual serving dishes, cover and refrigerate until firm.
  3. While the panna cotta chills, place the pears, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are very tender and begin to break down.
  4. Remove from the heat and purée until smooth with an immersion blender (or transfer to a conventional blender or food processor). Stir in the cinnamon and transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.



If you want to achieve an extra-smooth texture, press the pear mixture through a sieve or fine-mesh strainer before chilling.