20 Ways To Eat: An Almond #15

Panna Cotta is a dessert that I haven’t gotten enough of, pretty much none at all. This recipe that I found on Epicurious was published originally in Bon Appetit in June 2010 and I have to say that it makes this custard dish look amazing, especially with the generous helping of cherries on top! How would I be able to pass this up? Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t.

The only catch is that you’ll need plenty of time to make this. Say…. Four and a half hours or more. The good side is that the custard can be made up to two days ahead so you don’t have to rush. Just make sure to cover the glasses tightly with plastic wrap and it’ll all turn out fine.

Cherry-Topped Almond Panna Cotta

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from about 2 envelopes)
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 10 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 pound fresh cherries, pitted, halved
  • 1 tablespoon almond liqueur (optional)


Pour 1/4 cup milk into small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; stir to blend. Let stand 5 minutes to soften gelatin.

Heat cream, 5 tablespoons sugar, and remaining 3/4 cup milk in small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles begin to form around edge of pan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in almond extract and vanilla extract.

Heat gelatin mixture in microwave on low power until gelatin dissolves, stirring every 15 seconds, about 45 seconds. Stir gelatin mixture into warm milk mixture. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Divide mixture among eight 3/4-cup glasses or compote dishes. Cover each with plastic; chill until set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Stir almonds and 1 tablespoon sugar in small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until nuts are toasted and sugar melts and coats nuts, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Transfer candied almonds to plate to cool, stirring occasionally.

Place cherries, almond liqueur (if using), and remaining 4 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl; toss to coat. Let stand until sugar dissolves and juices form, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Divide cherries with juices among glasses. Sprinkle candied almonds over and serve.

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