Creamy and tangy grapefruit panna cotta with whipped cream and pistachios makes for an easy and delightful refreshing treat.
Every time I make panna cotta, I'm reminded of how easy they are to make. The longest part is just waiting impatiently for it to set in the fridge but within a couple of hours, you'll have a creamy and light dessert to dig into.
I've used ruby red grapefruit here for its beautiful bright colour. The whipping cream mellows out the tanginess of the grapefruit, resulting in a fruity custard with a smooth, vanilla aroma. A sprinkle of crushed pistachios gives it some texture and makes a great combination. The panna cotta is set with just enough gelatin so that it is jiggly, soft, and every spoonful melts away in your mouth.
How to make grapefruit panna cotta
Bloom gelatin: Squeeze grapefruit juice into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin powder over grapefruit juice and let it sit for 5 minutes until the gelatin has bloomed.
Heat whipping cream: In a small pot, add whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Heat it on medium heat until it's warm and the sugar has dissolved but just before it starts to simmer.
Dissolve gelatin: Add in the grapefruit gelatin mixture and stir to mix well until the gelatin has dissolved.
Chill: Pour panna cotta into ramekins or glass jars and chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight until it has set.
Decorate: Enjoy as-is or decorate your grapefruit panna cottas with whipped cream, grapefruit slices, and sprinkle with pistachios before enjoying.
Tips for making the best panna cotta
- Use your favourite variety of grapefruit but be mindful of its bitterness or sourness and adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe accordingly. Always taste test before pouring the panna cotta into your ramekins to ensure its to your liking.
- Use the right ratio of gelatin. Too much gelatin and your panna cotta will be stiffer and jelly-like. The amount in this recipe is enough to set the panna cotta firmly but it is still soft and melts away in your mouth. If you change the amount of liquid (e.g. your grapefruit gives you less juice than specified in the recipe, you might have to decrease the amount of gelatin).
- Mix the gelatin into the whipping cream mixture thoroughly to ensure it doesn't separate into layers as it sets. Don't let the cream boil and don't pour the mixture into your ramekins or jars while it's too hot. Let it cool until lukewarm to the touch and give it a stir before dividing into ramekins and chilling.
How to store panna cotta
Panna cotta can be easily made ahead and chilled overnight. It can wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add the whipped cream topping and garnishes right before serving.
Panna cotta should not be frozen as this changes the texture completely.
Grapefruit Panna Cotta
Grapefruit Panna Cotta
- 220 g fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, about 1 large grapefruit
- 2 teaspoons gelatin powder
- 150 g whipping cream
- 75 g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Topping
- 150 g whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pistachios & grapefruit segments, for garnish
- Squeeze grapefruit juice into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin powder over grapefruit juice and let it sit for 5 minutes until the gelatin has bloomed.
- In a small pot, add whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Heat it on medium heat until it's warm and the sugar has dissolved but just before it starts to simmer.
- Add in the grapefruit gelatin mixture and stir to mix well until the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour panna cotta into ramekins or glass jars and chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight until it has set.
- In a mixing bowl, whip the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until it has passed the soft peaks stage and holds its shape. Don't overwhip otherwise it will become grainy. Pipe whipped cream on top and garnish with grapefruit segments and pistachios before enjoying.
- I've added enough sugar here to offset the slight bitterness of the particular grapefruits I used. If your grapefruits are particularly bitter, you may need to adjust the sugar to your taste preference. If you are using store-bought grapefruit juice, you can choose to omit the sugar completely if your juice already has added sugar.
This was amazing. Easy, fast and SO delicious. I made them for our family Valentine’s Day dessert and it may have been the most loved dessert we have had. It was like eating a creamsicle dessert but elevated. We will be making this again very soon. Thank you so much for this recipe!