Creamy, rich, tangy Key Lime Panna Cotta is a fun citrus twist on regular panna cotta. With key limes readily available in most parts of the U.S., everyone can enjoy a taste of Florida as inspired this recipe!
We have so enjoyed our two weeks in Florida staying at my Sister-in-Law’s waterside vacation home. We’ve had manatee sightings and a Great Blue Heron hunting daily at our dock. Spotted an exotic sea slug that no one locally seems to have seen. Enjoyed long shell-hunting walks on the expansive beach. Dipped in the warm waters of the Atlantic and the house pool. It has really felt like vacation.
Loving Key Limes I’ve tried to use them whenever possible. I’ve made Tropical Mango Salsa and Key Lime infused Vodka. I loved Key Lime Pie before my gluten-free days but scouring the area for gluten-free graham cracker crumbs to make a pie crust was more than I could muster while on vacation.
I did however make a simple Key Lime Panna Cotta. Tangy, creamy and richly delicious I was inspired by the colors and vintage kitchenware in our vacation kitchen. The house where we stayed is a living tribute to the 1970’s complete with aqua blue Formica counter tops and coordinated tile and wall paper. Deep pile shag carpet abounds. However I spent my time buried in the kitchen cabinets which house several lifetimes of dish and glassware compiled here by the original owners of the home.
I fell briskly in love with several pieces (which I texted photos of to my Sis-in-Law as though offering free adoption services were they ever destined for a donation bin) including a lovely set of purple vintage Transferware bowls….that I promptly checked availability for on eBay. We used and gingerly hand washed them several times during our stay and celebrating them with the Key Lime Panna Cotta seemed fitting. Normally panna cotta would be released from their container and placed on a plate but in this case I wanted to savor every moment in this beautiful bowls so left it in the bowl for serving.
Key Lime Panna Cotta
In a small bowl combine the packet of gelatin with 3 tablespoons of cold water; whisk to combine and set aside.
In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until sugar is fully dissolved.
Add gelatin mixture (which will be solidified); whisk to dissolve gelatin and fully combine with cream mixture. Stir in lime zest and juice.
Pour equally into 6 desired serving vessels or ramekins. Place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours until fully set. Note: I place the bowls on a baking sheet to keep them stabilized. Panna Cotta may be made the day prior and if so I suggest covering the top with plastic wrap once cooled.
To release panna cotta: Should you choose to turn out the panna cotta onto individual serving plates instead of serving in a bowl as shown here, place the containers with panna cotta in a pan of hot water that is deep enough to warm the outside of the bowls but not so deep it will enter the bowls. Allow to sit a few minutes. Remove and place an individual serving dish face down on the top of the panna cotta bowl. Gently invert and shake the panna cotta bowl slightly to allow the panna cotta to release onto the plate. If it will not release, repeat again.