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Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Apple Cider Sauce

Kate Sears

Servings: 6

Apples and pumpkin, two fall favorites, pair up in this elegant, light, silken dessert. The cider sauce is also wonderful over ice cream and on french toast or pancakes.


For the sauce

  • 1 medium crisp red apple, such as Fuji
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 inch vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch kosher salt

For the panna cotta

  • 1 1/4-oz. envelope unflavored powdered gelatin (2-1/4 tsp.)
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin purée

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 520
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 240
  • Fat (g): 27
  • Saturated Fat (g): 17
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 260
  • Carbohydrates (g): 71
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 4


Make the sauce

  • Halve and core the unpeeled apple. Cut half into 1/2-inch pieces and half into 1/4-inch dice.
  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of water in a 3-quart saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and then drop in the bean. Stir until the sugar is wet and sandy. Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the sugar begins to turn golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Stir in the 1/2-inch pieces of apple and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is dark golden, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat; slowly stir in the cider and cider vinegar, followed by the salt.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small heatproof bowl, pressing as much of the apple pulp through the sieve as possible. Quick-chill the sauce by putting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stirring occasionally until cool. Add the diced apple and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. (The sauce will keep for 2 days.)

Make the panna cotta

  • In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water and set aside.
  • Whisk the cream, milk, brown sugar, salt, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until just beginning to boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin. Whisk in the pumpkin, and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or 2-quart liquid measure. Divide among six 6-oz. ramekins. Refrigerate until firm to the touch, covering with plastic wrap once cool, at least 4 and up to 48 hours.
  • Unmold the panna cotta by dipping the bottom of each ramekin in hot water for a few seconds and then running a paring knife around the edge all the way to the bottom to loosen it. Cover with a dessert plate and invert, give it a good downward shake, and then remove the ramekin. Serve topped with the sauce.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • ceilidhsmith | 10/06/2016

    These were so easy to make! Unlike some of the other commenters, I enjoyed the apple cider sauce and didn't find the apple cider vinegar overpowering. I made the recipe exactly as written, except for the fact that I just left the panna cottas in the ramekins and served them with the sauce atop, similar to a creme brle. My brother commented how you could really taste the pumpkin in the panna cotta, which is great. Definitely make this again!

  • user-3056014 | 11/29/2013

    The panna cotta was delicious, not too sweet at all.We infused the cream mixture with whole cinnamon, vanilla bean, and fresh ginger rather than the dried ground spices. The only issue and why I knocked a star off is that 2 Tbs. vinegar is way too much for that sauce. I like the idea of adding some acid to cut the sweetness, but the vinegar taste and especially smell overwhelmed everything else. We scrapped the sauce for most of it. Next time I would probably reduce the vinegar to maybe 2 tsp, or use lemon juice instead.

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