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

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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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Tips for Making This Recipe


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