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Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Rhubarb Compote

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

This extra-rich and tangy panna cotta will set up a little faster than a traditional one because of the sour cream’s higher fat content. It’s accented with a quick compote of tart rhubarb balanced by sweet cherry jam.


For the compote

  • 9 oz. fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into small dice (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the panna cottas

  • Cooking spray
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 230
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 11
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Cholesterol (mg): 30
  • Sodium (mg): 75
  • Carbohydrates (g): 29
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 27
  • Protein (g): 3


Make the compote

  • Combine the rhubarb, jam, sugar, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup water in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until beginning to thicken, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Thin with 3 Tbs. water, adding more in 1 Tbs. increments to reach your desired consistency.

Make the panna cottas

  • Lightly spray six 6- to 8-oz. ramekins, small bowls, or pastry molds with cooking spray.
  • Put the milk in a 2-quart saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soften for about 5 minutes. Place the saucepan over low heat and whisk in the sugar until the gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Rub a little between your fingers to check. (Avoid simmering, which destroys the gelatin’s thickening ability; if you see bubbles, remove from the heat and let it cool.)
  • Off the heat, whisk in the sour cream, vanilla and salt.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large measuring cup and divide among the prepared ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.
  • Serve the panna cottas in their ramekins, or unmold: Moisten six serving plates with a little warm water (this makes it easier to center the panna cottas). Loosen the edges of a panna cotta with a fingertip, then slowly invert it onto a plate. Gently jiggle the ramekin side to side until the panna cotta slips out. Lift the ramekin, reposition the panna cotta on the plate, if needed, and pat the plate dry. Serve, chilled for a firm panna cotta or at room temperature for a softer one, with the sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

The compote can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.

The panna cottas can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.


For a vegetarian panna cotta, you can substitute vegan gelatin in place of regular gelatin.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • AudreyJ | 04/22/2019

    Based on other reviews, I used 2 tsp of gelatin and these set quite well and were easily unfolded. As long as you follow the recipe (do not try to substitute low or no fat dairy) it should work just fine. They are quite sweet and thick. Tasty and super rich!

  • Burrite | 04/27/2016

    My panna cottas were on the softer side (I didn't try to unmold them) but they definitely set up. Love the tanginess from the sour cream, and the rhubarb compote made it gorgeous!

  • carolcook | 04/23/2016

    Same Problem. Did not set. Not Happy.

  • eatdrinkmanwoman | 03/31/2016

    It did not set up. Is the amount of gelatin specified in the recipe correct?

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