Panna Cotta alla Melagrana – Pomegranate Cream Custard


Panna cotta (cooked cream in Italian) is a traditional dessert from Northern Italy, prepared by simmering milk, sugar and cream and mixing them with gelatin. It literally takes minutes to make, but never fails to “wow” the guests. For a holiday version, I spiced it up with ponegranate seeds – a symbol of prosperity and good luck in many different traditions, not to mention a perfect contrast of color and flavor with the cream. Serve it for Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, or a romantic anniversary dinner!

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup whole milk,
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut into 2
  • 1 package powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Soften about 2/3 of the gelatin in a few spoonfuls the cold milk. Heat the rest of the milk with the sugar and the cut vanilla bean. Once it’s hot, stir in the gelatin mixture and mix until smooth. Allow to cool, discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the heavy cream. Pour about 3/4″ of this mixture into 4 glass cups and transfer into the freezer for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.

Soften the remaining gelatin in about 2 or 3 tbsp of the pomegranate juice. Heat the rest of the pomegranate juice, stir in the softened gelatin, mix well and allow to cool. Once the first layer of cream mixture has thickened, pour in a layer of pomegranate mixture, mixed with a few pomegranate seeds, and put the cups back into the freezer. Repeat with one more layer of cream and one of gelatin and pomegranate seeds. Top with a few more pomegranate seeds right before serving.

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  1. this is such a beautiful dessert! ive never made panna cotta, but i love the flavors you chose here

  2. (Pannacotta al melograno!)

    Looks lovely!

  3. This is so beautiful! I am going to try integrating that pomegranate layer into my parve panna cotta recipe.

  4. Sandra Sabatello says:

    Grazie mille la proverò sicuramente! Potrei usare l’agaragar al posto della gelatina? Grazie ancora !

    • Ciao Sandra, io ho usato una gelatina kasher in polvere. e’ possibile funzioni con l’agar-agar puro, ma bisognerebbe sperimentare per le quantità. Già con la gelatina in fogli servono quantità diverse che non con quella in polvere. Il mio consiglio e’ di cercare con google una ricetta di panna cotta con l’agar-agrar per vedere ele proporzioni fra l’addensante e i liquidi, e poi adattarla aggiungendo la gelatina di melagrana. Se fai la prova fammi sapere come va! Il mio email e’

  5. wouldn’t it cause kosher problems to mix the gelatin with the dairy? Or is there kosher gelatin that is parve?

    • Hi Mark, it’s interesting to note that kosher-certified gelatin is considered and marked parve even when it’s meat gelatin. It’s kind of a unique ingredient in this sense (usually “parve” denotes only vegan sources). My understanding is that it’s not considered “basari” (fleshig) because it’s made from an idedible part of the animal. It’s therefore considered parve and allowed with milk (at least by most authorities). I’m sure you can find details on the OU or CRC websites. So – vegetarians beware! Some kosher parve gelatins are actually animal-derived (I think Kolatin is); however, there are several vegetarian, and kosher vegetarian alternatives, made from agar-agar gum or other vegetable sources. For example, Lieber’s unflavored Jel, Carmels, and more are kosher and vegan. Sometimes different types of gelatin need to be used in different proportions, which can be annoying. They usually give you the proportion of gelatin for a certain amount of liquid, and you can adjust the recipe accordingly. Just to give you an example, even “regular” (non-Vegetarian) gelatin can come in powder or gelatin, and depending on the country you live in only one type may be available. Substituting sheet gelatin for powdered gelatin is quite controversial and it’s hard to find reliable tables for the ratioFor this recipe, use 1 package of powder gelatin or 25 gr (check, it should be about 3 sheets – but it depends on the size of the sheet). Hope this helps :-)))

  6. Stunning!!! My daughter loves pomegranate seeds so I think she is gonna go nuts for this dish. Nothing like a 2 year old eating panna cotta 🙂

  7. I love Panna Cotta, but after looking through these pics, I am thinking of a Blueberry Pom version for the 4th of July.

  8. The photo is absolutely stunning! What a beautiful dish! Would be great for Rosh Hashana! Have to bookmark it for next year!

  9. Very elegant. And the contrast of red and white is truly lovely. Have a great Valentine’s Day!

  10. Looks gorgeous and amazing! Love panna cotta:)

  11. Beautiful!

  12. OK but seriously, I posted that too fast. It is such a simple recipe and it is so pretty. And with nearly all ingredients that are natural and fresh.

  13. semplicemente meraviglioso!

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