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Buttermilk Panna Cotta Recipe with Apple & Blackberry Jelly
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Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Apple & Blackberry Jelly

Buttermilk Panna Cotta Recipe with Apple & Blackberry Jelly

Unlike classic panna cottas, which tend to use cream or milk, this recipe uses buttermilk. I love the slightly sour, acidic tang that it gives to the finished dish. This is a great dessert to serve after a rich meal and is easily paired with whatever fruits are in season. Here, I have topped the panna cotta with a thin layer of blackberry and apple jelly, but in the final of MasterChef Ireland I opted for a lemon and stem ginger jelly. You can experiment with different flavoured jellies… they are genuinely very easy to make and do finish off the dessert beautifully.

The use of buttermilk definitely gives an Irish twist to what is a very Italian dessert. Traditionally, buttermilk is the liquid that is left over after churning butter from cream. Nowadays, modern dairy technologies mean that cream can be easily skimmed from whole milk but historically, the milk was left to sit for a period of time to allow the cream and milk to separate – the cream was then used for making butter and the liquid left behind was the buttermilk.

Although this recipe has a few steps to it, it is actually very easy to make and can be prepared well in advance of serving.


Panna Cotta:
3 sheets of leaf gelatine
400ml natural yogurt
150ml buttermilk
150ml crème fraîche
125g caster sugar

Apple & Blackberry Jelly:
2 sheets of leaf gelatine
150ml apple juice
150g blackberries
1 tablespoon of caster sugar


Panna Cotta:

1. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of water for 3-5 minutes until softened. Remove from water, squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
2. Put 100ml of the yoghurt in a small pan with the sugar and heat just enough to melt the sugar. Separately, warm the gelatine in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of water, until dissolved (do not let boil).
3. Pour the warm yoghurt onto the gelatine and mix well and then add in the rest of the yoghurt. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve in to a medium bowl set over a large bowl full of ice. Whisk the mix gently as it cools, but do not let cool completely.
4. Lightly whip the cream and fold into the buttermilk and crème fraîche. Pour into 4-6 individual glass serving bowls and place in fridge to set for at least 2 hours before topping with the jelly.

Apple & Blackberry Jelly:

1. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of water for 3-5 minutes until softened. Remove from water, squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
2. Put the rest of the ingredients for the jelly into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves and the blackberries are softened, about 10 minutes. Crush the blackberries and pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard the solids that have collected in the sieve. Allow the collected fruit juice to cool slightly and then add the gelatine, whisking to distribute and to ensure that it is properly mixed. Pass through a sieve again and allow cool. Before it sets, pour a thin layer onto each panna cotta and return to fridge to finish setting for 1-2 hours.
3. Serve with a few blackberries or other seasonal fruits.

Serves 4-6.



552059_396285030437202_648992230_nNiamh Mannion

I’m simply someone who loves cooking and experimenting with food and different ingredients. From my early childhood spent in Zambia and Australia before returning home to Ireland I was fascinated with cookbooks and reading recipes. I would spend many hours reading my grandmother’s cookbooks and watching her preparing food in the kitchen.

Although I studied to become a graphic designer and spent a few years working in advertising before then becoming a civil servant, the one thing I always wanted to be was a food writer – sharing my enthusiasm for cooking with others, but I lacked the confidence to do the thing I wanted to do most in case I failed. I finally decided to take a risk and applied for MasterChef Ireland 2014 and was one of the three finalists.

For me, food and cooking is about family, friendship, sharing and conviviality. As a mother of three, I want my children to grow up with a love and appreciation of how lucky we are to live in a country like Ireland with such great produce and so many wonderful food producers. I continue to write and share my enthusiasm for food on my food and recipe blog The game bird Food Chronicles at

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