Panna cotta tart is a delicious and elegant dessert that combines the creamy texture of panna cotta with a chocolate dough crust. This dessert is perfect for special occasions or as a show-stopping finale to a dinner party.
It has now become one of my family’s favourite desserts, not only vanilla but I have also made a Chocolate Panna Cotta and a Traditional Panna Cotta. Both are simple yet delicious.
Ingredients needed to make a Panna Cotta Tart
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Butter – softened butter
- Vanilla – vanilla extract
- Baking powder
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Cocoa – unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
- Salt – if you use unsalted butter then add a bit more salt
- Gelatine – either leaves or gelatine powder
- Cream – whole/heavy or whipping cream at least 30% fat content
- Vanilla – vanilla extract
- Sugar – granulated sugar
How to blind bake a Pie Crust
Roll the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thickness then place it in the prepared pie plate, prick the bottom well with a fork.
Cover the bottom of the crust with parchment paper and add dried beans or pie weights on top, bake for approximately 20 minutes, if the pie is not baked, then bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or a bit longer if necessary without the beans.
Remove from the oven and let cool before adding the filling.
How to make a Panna Cotta Tart
In a medium bowl cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla then add the egg, and combine. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead gently just until you have a soft dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured flat surface roll the dough to 1/8″ thickness and place in the prepared pie pan. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork, and blind bake. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.
While the tart is cooling make the panna cotta – In a small bowl add the cold water and soak the gelatine leaves. Remove them from the water and squeeze out very well the excess moisture.
OR In a very small saucepan add 2 tablespoons water and sprinkle the gelatine on top, let stand for about one minute to soften. Heat the gelatine mixture over low heat until it is dissolved and remove the pan from heat.
In a medium pot add the cream, vanilla and sugar, cook on medium heat until very hot, but do not boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the gelatine stir until it is dissolved. Let sit a few minutes, then stir and let cool.
Add the Panna Cotta Mixture to the cooled pie crust (mixture will be very runny), refrigerate until firm or even overnight. Top with fresh berries or Berry Sauce.
What other pie dough can I use?
If you prefer you could use a basic Pie dough an Italian Crostata dough or even a good quality store bought if you prefer.
What other toppings can you use?
In the summer I love to serve this with a slightly sweet berry topping, but you could also serve it with a fresh berries such as blueberries, strawberries or fresh peach or apricot slices. If you want to skip the fruit, how about a dollop of whipped cream with chocolate shavings or even a simple chocolate ganache.
How to make Chocolate Ganache
Using either the microwave or bain marie melt and stir together until smooth 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) of chocolate (either milk or dark or even a combination) 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup (58 grams) of whole, heavy or whipped cream. Let cool but not harden, before drizzling over the dessert.
What is Panna Cotta?
It is very popular all over Itay. A chilled molded dessert or sometimes served in a tall glass, made with milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and gelatin, which is necessary to make it firm and holds its shape. Eaten with a spoon and perfect as a special occasion or anytime dessert idea.
Where does it come from?
Panna Cotta is from the Region of Piemonte. The translation is “Cooked Cream” which is thickened with gelatine and then chilled to form a silky melt in your mouth texture. It is typically served with a berry, chocolate or caramel sauce.
What does Panna Cotta taste like?
It is a soft, creamy and delicate tasting dessert that almost melts in your mouth. It’s velvety and smooth. Considering it’s made with cream it really is quite light. So good that you will wish it would never end.
This is definitely a make ahead dessert. It can be made the day or morning before serving, since it needs at least 5-6 hours of chilling time. Be sure to plan ahead to make sure it has enough time to chill. It should never be chilled in the freezer.
Panna cotta should be tightly covered with plastic wrap or conserved in an airtight container, then stored in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-4 days if properly stored.
I would love to know what you think of this if you were asking yourself “What took me so long to try this”? Enjoy!
Chocolate Vanilla Berry Panna Cotta Tart
CHOCOLATE PIE DOUGH
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dutch processed cocoa (sifted)
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (92 grams total)
- ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons butter softened (100 grams total)
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
*If you use unsalted butter then add ½ teaspoon of salt
VANILLA PANNA COTTA
- 3 gelatin leaves (or 1 tablespoon powder)
- 2 cups + 3 tablespoons whole/heavy or whipping cream with at least 30% fat content (500 ml total)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (75 grams total)
- 2 cups berries of choice (I used 1 cup frozen and 1 cup fresh)
- ¼ cup water
- 1½ tablespoons honey or granulated sugar
CHOCOLATE PIE DOUGH
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa.
- In a medium bowl cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes then add the egg, and combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead gently just until you have a soft dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C) . Lightly grease and flour an 8 inch (20cm) pie plate.
- Remove dough from fridge and on a floured flat surface roll the dough to 1/8" thickness and fit in pan. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork then cover the dough with parchment paper and weigh it down with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, remove paper and bake another 3-5 minutes or more if needed until completely baked. Let cool completely before filling.
VANILLA PANNA COTTA
- In a small bowl add enough cold water to cover the leaves and soak them for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and squeeze out the excess moisture. OR In a very small saucepan add 2 tablespoons water and sprinkle the gelatine on top, let stand for about 1 minute to soften. Heat the gelatine mixture over low heat until it has dissolved, remove the pan from heat.
- In a medium pot add the cream, vanilla and sugar, heat on medium until very hot, but do not boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the gelatine stir until dissolved. Let sit approximately 5-7 minutes, stir and let cool.
- Add the Panna Cotta Mixture to the completely cooled pie crust (mixture will be very runny), refrigerate until firm approximately 4-5 hours or overnight. Top with fresh berries or Berry Sauce. Enjoy!
- In a small pot add the berries, water and honey, heat on medium until boiling, squish the berries gently with a fork, turn the heat down and simmer for approximately 5-7 minutes. Let cool it will thicken while cooling. It can also be refrigerated until ready to use.
Updated from February 1, 2017.
Frances Pivovonsky says
I made this recipe yesterday. I’m not much of a baker, so I struggled a little with the dough. It kept falling apart. However, that did not deter me. I pieced the dough into the pie dish and baked as per the instructions. I made the panna cotta and the berry sauce. We had this last night after dinner. I also served with fresh fruit. It was amazing!! I definitely would make this again and already added this recipe to my “keepers.” Thank you for a great recipe that was easy to follow and the presentation, beautiful!
Hi Frances, thanks so much, so glad you liked it. Oh don’t worry about using your hands to to piece the dough together in the pan, I do it too sometimes. 🙂 Take care!
Linda Timblin says
What are gelatin leaves and where do u buy them? Recipe sounds delicious!
Hi Linda, you can buy them in the grocery store or you can use 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder. Hope that helps. Take care!
Loved this recipe. So delish
Hi Bre, thanks so much, so glad you liked it. Take care and have a great weekend.
Jennifer Smith says
I did it! It was an amazing Christmas dessert! I wish I could post a picture here to show you. Delicious silky , perfect taste and not overly sweet.
Hi Jennifer, thanks so much, so glad it was enjoyed! Take care and Happy New Year.
what is the size of the pan?
Hi Winnie, an 8 inch pie pan, the recipe card holds all the information. 🙂