This Strawberry Panna Cotta with Pistachio Meringues takes beautiful fresh strawberries and turns them into one of the most luscious, creamy strawberry desserts. Topped off with pistachio meringues for the perfect crunch.
I love, love, love panna cotta. When I discovered how easy panna cotta was to make, it resulted in lists of all the ways I can recreate this one recipe. This time I used fresh strawberries to make a super creamy, luxurious little Strawberry Panna Cotta and topped them off with crunchy pistachio meringues.
How to make panna cotta
Ok, this’ll be quick because making panna cotta is quick. Seriously, 10 minutes is all you need. In this version, you start by pureeing fresh (or even frozen) strawberries together with milk. I then strain the seeds out but that’s totally a personal choice.
Sprinkle some gelatine over the top and let it bloom (this just means leave it for 5 minutes until the surface gets wrinkly). Now gently heat the puree until the gelatine dissolves. Add some sugar and do the same. This all takes a maximum of 3-4 minutes. Pour in some cream, vanilla and salt and it’s done. Just pour it into your dishes.
And those Pistachio Meringues
Crispy on the outside and soft and marshmallowy in the middle, these pistachio meringues are the perfect accompaniment to our Strawberry Panna Cotta. They are also just about as easy to make as well.
So how do you make meringues? It’s a simple process of whisking egg whites, slowly adding sugar, piping (or even dolloping with a spoon) onto a baking sheet and baking in a very low oven. That easy. I’ve used this meringue recipe over and over and I just love it. From Massive Chocolate Swirl Meringues to this Easy Peppermint Meringues that are perfect for Christmas time.
More Strawberry Desserts
If you love strawberry desserts as much as I do (strawberries are my absolute favourite fruit), you should definitely try this Strawberry Mousse Tart, Strawberry and Chocolate Petit Fours or maybe this Simple Strawberry Flan.
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For the Panna Cotta
- 500 g fresh hulled strawberries (or frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the pistachio meringues
- 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios - (notes)
- 2 large egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 large strawberries, sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon pistachios, roughly chopped
For the Panna Cotta
- If you’re using frozen strawberries, thaw them first.
- Pour the cold milk and strawberries into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture, through a strainer into a medium saucepan.
- Sprinkle the gelatine over the top of the purée. Allow it to "bloom" for 5 minutes (it should look a bit wrinkly by the end).
- Turn the heat on low under the saucepan and stir for a minute or two until the gelatine has dissolved.
- Add the sugar and stir again, just until dissolved. This should only take another minute or two. Don't let the mixture get too hot or to come to a simmer. It should only be just warm.
- Take the saucepan off the heat. Pour in the cream, vanilla and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into glasses or ramekins (or moulds if you are planning to turn them out - see notes).
- Place immediately in the fridge and allow to set for at least 4 hours (or they can be made a day ahead).
For Pistachio Meringues
- Preheat oven to 140C / 120C fan forced / 285F. Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Use a food processor to blitz the pistachios to crumbs. Set aside.
- Sift over the cream of tartar and beat through. Now add the sugar one tablespoon at a time while continuing to whisk. This should take around 1 minute to add all the sugar. Keep whisking until the egg whites are thick and glossy and at stiff peak stage.
- Once all the sugar is incorporated, test the mixture by rubbing a little between your finger and thumb. It should be smooth. If it is still grainy, keep beating until it is smooth when you test it.
- Add the vanilla extract and quickly beat it through for just a few seconds. Now add 3/4 of the pistachios and just fold it through with a spoon 1-2 times. Don't try to mix them in any more than that or you will lose the air from your meringue and it will just become sloppy egg whites again.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe small mounds, slightly smaller than the top of your serving dishes, onto the prepared baking trays. Leave plenty of room between them for airflow.
- Sprinkle over the remaining pistachio crumbs.
- Place in the oven and bake for 55 minutes turning the trays half way through. Remove from oven, gently peel away from the baking paper and let them cool on a wire rack until completely cooled.
- Allow them to cool at room temperature, then store in an airtight container until it’s time to serve.
- Chop the extra strawberries and mix the sugar through. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes to macerate.
- Now spoon some strawberries over the top of each panna cotta, then sprinkle with the extra pistachios
- Top with the meringues and serve.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- If you want to turn the Panna Cotta out onto a plate when set, first start by spraying your dariole moulds or ramekins with oil spray (I find dariole moulds easier to use). Wipe them with paper towel so there is only a light covering.
- To unmould, fill a dish with warm water just an inch or so, then sit the moulds into the warm water for 10-20 seconds. Place your serving dish on top of the Panna Cotta mould and flip it over. Give the Panna Cotta a gentle shake. They may take a little bit of encouragement but should slide out perfectly.
- Don't turn them out until ready to serve.
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