Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mindi Shapiro
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours 35 Mins
Serves 4

Meyer lemon--a lemon/orange ­hybrid--is sweeter than conventional lemon. If you don't have access to Meyer lemons, you can use a regular lemon and enjoy a dessert that's a bit more tart.

How to Make It

Step 1

Remove rind from lemon using a vegetable peeler, avoiding white pith. Squeeze 3 tablespoons juice from lemon. Combine rind, 1/2 cup milk, half-and-half, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Discard rind. Sprinkle gelatin over remaining 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl, and let stand at least 10 minutes. Return half-and-half mixture to medium heat; cook for 1 minute or until very hot. Add the gelatin mixture, stirring with a whisk until dissolved (about 1 minute). Stir in buttermilk and 3 tablespoons juice. Divide mixture among 4 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Step 2

Run a knife around outside edges of panna cotta. Place a plate upside down on top of each cup; invert onto plate. Garnish with mint and rind, if desired.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, January, 2016

Ratings & Reviews

portland's Review

February 15, 2015
prefer this scaled down panna cotta to the regular heavy cream variety. buttermilk and lemon made it refreshing and tangy. good taste, a little grainy, maybe i made the milk a little too hot.

smurdoch's Review

May 19, 2013
Thought this was delicious, but did make a couple of edits, specifically substituting Kefir for buttermilk, using a regular lemon, and adding about 2T lemon juice to the recipe amount. The result was refreshing and tart, not too sweet, the perfect foil for fresh berries.

Csiegz's Review

February 07, 2013
I have made this twice and both times it curdled?? What did I do wrong?

CherylCooks's Review

February 05, 2013
Delicious, light and refreshing and not too sweet. I used Splenda instead of sugar and fat free half and half.

Donna29T's Review

January 31, 2013
I found this recipe refreshing because it's light and not too sweet. Also easy to make. I served it with fresh berries on the side that were lightly crushed with a bit of sugar.

CPC94118's Review

January 14, 2013
Rather bland and needs just a tiny bit more sugar, perhaps one or two tablespoons. I didn't like the buttermilk flavor in this. Maybe Greek yogurt would work in its place. I'll try the recipe once more with more sugar, low fat milk in place of the 1/2 & 1/2 and more Meyer lemon peel to steep in the milk to increase the lemon essence.