Vanilla Panna Cotta with Stone Fruits

Styling: Anita Parise & Renee Lenzarini
Blog: Renee Lenzarini
Photography & Video: Anita Parise & Renee Lenzarini
Recipe & Inspiration: Desserts for the festive season / GR Club’s End-of-Year Festa Menu

“Welcome to 2018 GR Clubbers!  We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season with family, friends and of course, fabulous festive food. We are delighted to be back in action and have prepared a most popular Italian dessert to celebrate our Australian Summer.

If you were lucky enough to get yourself a ticket to our sold-out GR Club End-of-Year Festa at the eclectic Henry on Eighth, Maylands (Tuesday 19 Dec. 2017), you will know that GR Clubbers were treated to a trio of dazzling dishes and paired wines. The menu was very much a collaboration between myself, Anita and the terrifically talented and knowledgeable Henry on Eighth team – inspired by the festive season and Italian specialties as well as discovering new flavours. The pasta creations included our: ‘Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli’ for entree and ‘Smoked Salmon Linguini’ for main course. We were lucky enough to finish our meals with a most clever take on an Italian specialty, ‘Cherry & Citrus Panna Cotta’ (to see all the wonderful food and wine shots from the night click here).

Panna cotta literally translated means ‘cooked cream.’ It is a most simple dessert – however, if prepared right, you have a dish worthy to end any feast or occasion.

Anita is well known amongst her friends and family for her delicious panna cotta. She would tell you herself that it has taken quite a few trials and different recipes to make it “fail proof.” But we think she now has it down to an art!  So we thought we’d share her recipe for a Vanilla Panna Cotta with you. Making the perfect accompaniment are those sweet and juicy Australian stone fruits currently in season: peaches, nectarines and apricots.

For all those who missed out on our end-of-year event, please stay tuned for our next one! But for now – here’s a simple, seasonal recipe to inspire you. The panna cotta truly was the perfect way to finish our menu and this is an absolutely beautiful recipe to begin the New Year.”

Auguri di un felice anno nuovo,

Renee, Anita & the GR team


  • 300ml of whipping cream
  • 300ml of thickened cream
  • 100ml of full cream milk
  • 1/3 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract (we recommend that you do not use vanilla essence)
  • 3 x gelatin leaves
  • 2 x yellow peaches, roughly sliced (fruit & syrup)
  • 2 x yellow nectarines, roughly sliced (fruit & syrup)
  • 2 x plums, roughly sliced (fruit & syrup)
  • 3 x apricots, roughly sliced (fruit & syrup)
  • A handful of raspberries (fruit & syrup)
  • 5 x sprigs of lemon thyme (fruit & syrup)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of caster sugar (fruit & syrup)


*Note: Once the panna cotta has set, you will see that it is firm but wobbly … it must have the wobble! Gently release them out of the molds and spoon the stone fruit and the syrup around the panna cotta. Alternatively, the fruit can be placed on top of the panna cotta in a serving glass for a layered effect. Whichever you prefer, they both look fantastic!

  • Heat the thickened cream, sugar, vanilla and milk in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Soften the gelatin sheets in some warm water until it becomes soft and very pliable. Add this to the cream mixture and stir until all dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from heat.
  • Next, pour the mixture into a bowl. Place this bowl into a larger bowl filled with iced water. This will help the mixture cool down (If you are short of time, you can place it in and out of the fridge constantly stirring to help cool the mixture down to room temperature).
  • Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream up until soft peaks form.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the already cooled cream mixture. You will notice that the mixture now has a thick consistency.
  • Pour the mixture into lightly greased ramekins or molds. For a different plating option or if you do not have any panna cotta molds, pour directly into small drinking glasses.
  • Cover with film and set in the fridge for at least 6 hours or even better --- overnight!
  • Next, slice all the stone fruit into small wedges and place in a fry pan. Add the thyme leaves.
  • Place the sugar and a tablespoon of water in the pan and gently heat until the fruit starts to release its juices (this will form a syrup and should take between 5 -10 minutes). The syrup should be boiling and some of the softer fruit will dissolve - don’t worry, this is fine. Just before taking the saucepan off the heat, add in the raspberries and mix them through.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside in a bowl. Leave the mixture to cool before putting it in the fridge. Keep it refrigerated until just before service.
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