Ring in the holiday season with some single-serve vanilla bean panna cotta with basil blackberry compote; an easy recipe for dessert with no baking required, and perfect for any celebration!
I adore the holiday season.
It might be because of the snow. Or the treats. Maybe the family time. Quite possibly the decorations.
OK, OK, so it’s all of the above.
There is this charge I get from the season and it gets me up and in the kitchen, whipping up old classics and new favorites, like these vanilla bean panna cotta with basil blackberry compote.
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Unlike my creme fraiche panna cotta, this one is even simpler with only four ingredients, making it one of my top easy recipes for dessert with:
- Heavy Cream
- Plain Gelatin
- Vanilla Bean
I know you’re waiting for some kind of complicated curveball, but I promise it’s nearly impossible to mess up. You gently heat up the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean and whisk it until the sugar is completely dissolved then let cool briefly while the gelatin sets up in a separate dish. Finally, you mix the two together and pour into whatever serving dishes you’d like, pop them in the fridge, and let them set completely.
Basil Blackberry Compote
Did you know…
- Each Driscoll’s berry is naturally bred through cross-pollination; a technique that has been used for thousands of years. So cool!
- Driscoll’s only picks the top 1% of berry varieties to sell under their name, which is why I always pick them when I’m shopping, you know I only go for the best!
- Fun fact! The original package that Driscoll’s berries comes in was specifically designed to optimize air circulation so that each berry stays as fresh as possible – and remember, don’t wash them until just before you eat them!
This compote is very simple, with minimal ingredients like the panna cotta itself, so you can make it while the dessert sets.
- Like mint, basil sweetens blackberries up and really brings out their fresh flavors, plus, basil works well with vanilla!
- I’ve mentioned it in my Instagram Stories, but to really get that good flavor from basil, you need to break the oil capsules inside the basil. Do this by whacking the leaves with the blunt side of a knife, before chopping the basil up.
- You can make the compote as chunky or smooth as you want by mashing the berries only a little bit, or a lot. Cook time also affects the thickness so cook for a shorter amount of time if you want a compote with more liquid, and longer if you like a bit more jammy.
I have to say, though, my favorite thing about this recipe is not just the complete simplicity, but how pretty and fancy it looks in spite of that!
It’s really a favorite for special occasions because I set out individual servings around the table to get that fancy restaurant feeling, and since there is no baking involved, I can make them ahead of time and keep them safe in the fridge while I get to work on the main meal.
I know you all have been traveling down the #berrytogether road with me this year, and it’s been so much fun! Now Driscoll’s is hosting a sweepstakes to celebrate the togetherness of the season by capturing shared berry moments and tagging them with #BerryTogether #Sweepstakes, and @DriscollsBerry on Instagram or Twitter.
The sweepstakes starts on 10/25/18 at 9:00:00 a.m. PT and ends on 12/28/18 at 3:00 p.m. PT. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are eighteen (18) years of age or older (19 in NE and AL).
Prize (1): a KitchenAid® Artisan Stand Mixer, a Williams Sonoma Stoneware Pie Dish, Set of 3, and Berries for a Year. ARV: $819.99. Void where prohibited.
How freaking cool is that?
Get the complete official rules HERE.
Let’s make something delicious together, shall we?
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod. Warm over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, then remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean pod.
- In a small dish, stir together the gelatin and 2 tablespoons water. Let set for 5 minutes, then scoop into the saucepan with the heavy cream mixture and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Portion the panna cotta mixture between 6 small jars or molds, cover, and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until the molds have set.
- While the panna cotta sets, add the compote ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan. Heat over medium-low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, gently smashing the berries to release their juices. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Scoop compote to top each panna cotta and serve chilled.