I love these Vegan Lemon Panna Cotta desserts! They are so easy to make and so delicious. The lemony citrus panna cotta paired with the blackberry basil coulis make for a simple yet upscale dessert for any occasion.
Sweet meets tangy. These contrasting flavors make for a well-balanced, heavenly dessert. The blackberry-basil coulis ended up being quite the surprising combination. I’m someone who is always experimenting with new flavors. The creamy lemon panna cotta balanced out so well with the sweet blackberry-basil coulis it was almost like they were made to go together. I would have not expected these contrasting flavors to go together, but ended up being one of my favorite desserts.
Making a Vegan Panna Cotta
This Italian classic is typically made with heavy cream and gelatin and can be flavored in many different ways. However, there are a lot of components in this classic that are not vegan so I knew it would be a challenge.
Before making this post, I researched many recipes and tried different vegan variations but none of them gave it justice, most using agar as a main gelling ingredient. Although agar works great as a gelatin replacement, it doesn’t quite have the same texture. Agar tends to get hard. In one of the videos that I was watching, the guy removed the vegan panna cotta from the mold with his fingers almost like a jelly puck, not too appetizing. I’ve never had panna cotta before, but what I do know is that was definitely not the texture I was looking for. In the traditional dish, you use gelatin so think of a jello. To get as close as possible to the texture that gelatin provides, I tried several different combinations. Some alternative recipes used corn starch, but that gave more of a creamy custard texture. I was looking for something in between the custard texture and the hard agar texture so I used a little of both.
Making the Blackberry-Basil Coulis
Put all of your coulis ingredients into the saucepan over medium-low heat. As the pan starts to heat up, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to crush the blackberries. Bring the coulis to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes or until the coulis thickens. Once the coulis has thickened, take a sieve and filter out all the seeds and pulp. Take a tablespoon of the filtered coulis and put it in a small bowl. Set it aside.
Vegan Lemon Panna Cotta
Once your coulis is made, now to work on your panna cotta. First, take the corn starch and a ¼ cup of coconut milk and mix with a small whip or fork into a slurry in a small bowl until mixture has smoothed out. Next, take your ½ of a vanilla bean and slice it in half using a small paring knife. Run your knife along the insides of the bean and srcape off the flavour rich vanilla seeds. Add seeds into the slurry.
Add all remaining ingredients, along with the slurry into the saucepan except for the agar, and bring to a slow simmer over medium-low heat. Once it simmers, add the agar mixing it rigorously until uniform. Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken. Take a ¼ cup of the panna cotta and combine it with the 1 tbsp of coulis that was set aside. Mix until uniform and pour into 3 ramekins.
Then, take the rest of the panna cotta and pour it into ramekins leaving 1/2 in. from the rim and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour for a softer texture (like a flan) or 2 hours for a slightly firmer texture.
Removing the Panna Cotta from Ramekins
Once the panna cotta has been set, use a small paring knife and run it along the side to loosen it up. Put a plate on top of the ramekin and flip upside down. Take a towel and slip it underneath the plate while holding the ramekin tightly onto the plate, bang the plate on the towel to loosen it up some more. Be patient it can sometimes be a little stubborn. If it is still being stubborn, run your paring knife along the side again.
Putting it all together
Once you’ve removed the ramekins, pour the blackberry sauce on top with fresh blackberries and basil leaf. Panna cotta is good refrigerated for up to 2 days.
I hope you LOVE this Vegan Lemon Panna Cotta! They are:
Lemon Panna Cotta with Blackberry-Basil Coulis
Panna Cotta Ingredients:
- 400 ml (14 oz) Canned coconut milk Full Fat
- 3 tbsp Corn starch
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ½ Vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice + rind
- 1/4 tsp Agar
Blackberry-Basil Coulis Ingredients:
- 2 cups frozen blackberries
- 1 tbsp basil finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Fresh Blackberries
- Fresh Basil
- In a small sauce pan, add all the ingredients for the blueberry basil coulis until well combined and bring to a slow simmer over a medium low-heat while mashing the blackberries with either a potato masher or the back of a fork. Simmer until sauce thickens and becomes syrupy in texture about 10-15 minutes.
- Immediately take a sieve and filter out all the pulp and seeds into a small bowl. Set aside 1 tbsp of blackberry coulis into a separate bowl.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry with corn starch, mixing in ¼ cup of the coconut milk with a fork or a small whisk until it is uniform removing all the lumps.
- In a sauce pan, mix coconut milk, vanilla bean, sugar, lemon and rind. Bring to a slow simmer over medium-low heat. Once it starts simmering, add in slurry and agar until mixture starts to thicken then quickly remove from heat.
- Take a ¼ cup of the panna cotta and add to the tbsp of blackberry coulis that was set aside and mix till well combined. Pour just enough to fill the bottom of the ramekins.
- Take the rest of the panna cotta and pour into ramekins and fill till about ½ in. from the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour for a softer texture (like a flan) or 2 hrs for a slightly firmer texture.
- To remove from ramekins, take a small paring knife and run along the edges to loosen the panna cotta. Put a small dessert plate on top of the ramekin and turn them both over. Put a towel underneath the plate and firmly bang the plate and ramekin onto the table. Be patient it can sometimes take a little time. If it's not budging, use your paring knife to gently wedge in a little air and let gravity do its work.
- Pour coulis on top and garnish with a basil leaf and blackberry and enjoy!