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Panna Cotta with Vermont Blue Cheese and Roasted Stone Fruit

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
Yield 8 servings
Panna cotta is a light, silky Italian custard. Its delicate, sweet flavor is a blank slate that showcases Felino Samson's spirited cooking style. He emphasizes harmonic but bold flavors with roasted stone fruit and blue cheese.


  • 2 cups pear nectar
  • 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup pitted sweet cherries
  • 1/4 cup tawny port or other sweet red wine
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 plums, each cut into 4 wedges (about 1 pound)
  • 3 peaches, each peeled and cut into 6 wedges (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Vermont or other blue cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 213
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 6.7 g
  • satfat 4.1 g
  • monofat 1.9 g
  • polyfat 0.3 g
  • protein 8 g
  • carbohydrate 30.6 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 19 mg
  • iron 0.4 mg
  • sodium 236 mg
  • calcium 158 mg

How to Make It

  1. Strain pear nectar through a fine sieve over a small bowl, and discard solids. Sprinkle gelatin over strained pear nectar, and let stand 1 minute.

  2. Place milk in a medium saucepan; stir in gelatin mixture. Cook over medium-low heat until gelatin dissolves, stirring constantly. Pour evenly into 8 (4-ounce) ramekins or muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Chill 2 hours or until set.

  3. Preheat oven to 400°.

  4. Combine cherries and the next 4 ingredients (cherries through peaches) in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing to coat. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring once. Cool.

  5. Loosen edges of panna cottas with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a dessert plate, upside down, on top of each ramekin; invert onto plates. Spoon about 1/2 cup roasted fruit around each panna cotta. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese.

Cook's Notes

If you don't want to use tawny port or sweet red wine in the fruit mixture, you can use red grape juice instead.