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Lavender Panna Cotta & Roasted Plum Coulis

Panna cotta is pure silk… Okay, literally speaking it’s “cooked cream” — but that translation doesn’t do this light, elegant dessert any favors. Ours is made with a bit of yogurt (for tang) and lavender (for a happy floral note).

Now, if the chilled, lavender-infused cream doesn’t scream “fall” to you, the traditional coulis topping will: The plums are roasted with butter, brown sugar, and fresh thyme (which lends the syrupy-sweet fruit a bit of earthy pungency), and then puréed into a rich sauce. Throw it all together in your chosen vessels, serve with a few slices of plum and crumbled cookies for crunch, and you’ve got yourself the perfect dessert — not too rich, not too sweet, just a delicate little something for the end of the day.

Lavender Panna Cotta & Roasted Plum Coulis

Servings: 6


    For the panna cotta:
  • 1 ¼ oz envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp cold milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tsp dried, food grade lavender
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • For the roasted plum coulis:
  • 3 ripe plums, halved, stones removed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 shortbread cookie, crumbled, for garnish
  • Special equipment:
  • 6 6-oz ramekins or wine glasses


  1. To make the panna cotta: In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the cold milk, and let it bloom, or soften, for 10 minutes. Set it aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream, sugar, and lavender to a simmer.
  3. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Pass it through a mesh strainer to remove the lavender.
  4. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the warm cream until smooth and completely dissolved.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt until it’s smooth, and then whisk it into the cream and gelatin mixture.
  6. Brush the ramekins with the vegetable oil and fill each one with ½ cup of the panna cotta. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap. Transfer them to the fridge until the panna cotta is set, 2 to 4 hours.
  7. To make the roasted plum coulis: Preheat the oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Place the plums on the baking sheet, cut side up, and fill each half with 1 teaspoon of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Top each plum with a sprig of thyme.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and let the plums cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Slice two of the plum halves into 3 wedges each and set them aside.
  11. Transfer the remaining plums into a blender with the water, lemon juice, and sugar and purée until smooth.
  12. Dip the ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water for 3 seconds, and then gently invert the ramekin over a small dessert plate. Note: if you’re using wine glasses instead of ramekins, there’s no need to turn out the panna cotta.
  13. Top each panna cotta with plum coulis, sliced plums, and a sprinkle of the crumbled shortbread cookie and serve immediately.