Pomegranate Panna Cotta (dairy-free, paleo)
A gorgeous pomegranate panna cotta that’s dairy-free, super easy, make-ahead friendly and perfect for the holidays.
Happy December friends! Can you believe we only have three weeks to go until Christmas? The weather is cooling, holiday present buying is in full swing and jolly old Santa will be here before you know it. I’ve got about half of my Christmas shopping done…and fingers crossed I’ll finish the rest next week. Then, I can sit back, relax and start making some fun holiday food gifts.
I plan to wrap up stacks of my gluten-free chocolate chip cookies with holiday ribbon and fill little tulip Weck jars (like those used here) with mini portions of my homemade nutella and strawberry chia seed jam. There’s just something loving and personal about homemade food gifts, don’t you think?
I whipped up this pomegranate panna cotta for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago and it was a hit. Driving a couple of hours to Orange County meant that I needed some “stable” dessert options. And guess what? Panna cotta can jiggle all it wants in Los Angeles holiday traffic and still look fab on the receiving end. Win! So in addition to my pumpkin pie recipe I whipped up these perfectly portioned jars of pomegranate panna cotta.
The base is similar to the nectarine panna cotta with roasted plums I made last year (without the nectarine of course), but is topped with a jelly pomegranate layer and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. It’s sweet, creamy and delicious. But to be honest, I just love how they look in these little jars. Like little cheerful, edible presents.
The panna cotta has a distinct coconut flavor which pairs beautifully with the pomegranate, thanks to the coconut milk (keeping it dairy-free). I also use my fave gut-healthy gelatin to firm it up. For the pomegranate layer I used organic pomegranate juice, which I find is not quite as bright as mainstream pomegranate juice. Have you noticed that? It’s much darker, but hey that’s okay. I’ll take quality any day of the week. And then there’s just a sprinkle of pomegranate arils on top.
The portions listed on the recipe below make 3 medium or 4 small portions. Though, I doubled this recipe and made the 6 portions you see here in the photos. Once you’re all done, you’ll have a dessert that’s super easy, beautiful and make-ahead friendly.
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp gelatin (I use this brand)
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1.5 tsp gelatin
- ½ cup pomegranate juice
- Pomegranate arils to sprinkle on top
- To make the panna cotta, place the water in a small dish. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and allow it to bloom for 5 minutes.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk and honey. Stir until simmering and the honey has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low, add the vanilla extract and bloomed gelatin and whisk for several minutes, until all the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour the panna cotta into small jars or ramekins and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- After the panna cotta has chilled, dissolve 1.5 teaspoons of gelatin in ¼ cup of boiling water and stir. I do this in a glass measuring cup. Add the pomegranate juice, stir and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour the pomegranate juice on top of the panna cotta and chill for another two hours. Once the pomegranate jelly has firmed up, top with pomegranate arils.
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