Panna Cotta with Vermont Blue Cheese and Roasted Stone Fruit

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

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.

Yield: 8 servings
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 213
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Fat: 6.7g
  • Saturated fat: 4.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbohydrate: 30.6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 19mg
  • Iron: 0.4mg
  • Sodium: 236mg
  • Calcium: 158mg


  • 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


  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.

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

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