Thursday, December 3, 2020

Pumpkin and Caramel Layered Panna Cotta

Sweetened cream with a mousse-like texture, flavored with pumpkin and spices sits on top of a layer of luscious caramel.  One bite and it transports you to a brisk fall day on a country lane.  


Hoping this post finds everyone healthy and happy.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you stuff yourself or did you have a low key dinner this year?  We had a small intimate version of our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner and it turned out very nice.  

One thing I did differently this year was to skip the traditional pumpkin pie for dessert.  I have to say that it was HARD not to make a pie.  We only have it once a year and as the day got closer I was feeling a little sad that I wasn't making one.  It's just such a tradition.   However, I was determined not to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen and decided on a substitute dessert that was still pumpkin flavored.

Pumpkin and Caramel Layered Panna Cotta

I got this fabulous recipe from a chef that I know.  She's wonderful and suggested this Pumpkin and Caramel Layered Panna Cotta.  When I first heard this I was thinking, "yikes...I want something easy!"  Well don't be fooled by the fancy name.  This Italian dessert is made of sweetened cream and set up with gelatin.  It really is easier and quicker than pie by far!  

I made this the day before our big dinner and it done in 30 minutes.  Far easier that messing with pie dough, filling, and baking.  And what a hit!  A sweetened cream with a mousse-like texture flavored with pumpkin and spices sit on top of a layer for luscious caramel.  

Tips for Making the Panna Cotta

  • Use a small clear drinking glass, glass ramekins, or even small mason jars for your vessel.   
  • Make sure to get a good quality caramel sauce.  
  • Use unflavored gelatin
  • Set out all your ingredients beforehand as this moves quickly
  • Make sure to get pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling


  • whipped cream
  • plain
  • toffee bits
  • grated fresh nutmeg
  • dust with cinnamon
  • chocolate chips
  • drizzle with caramel  

So if you have extra cans of pumpkin please dare to make this dish.  It's so easy to make and the taste will blow you away!


Pumpkin and Caramel Layered Panna Cotta

serves 6

1 jar good quality caramel sauce
2 tsp gelatin (unflavored)
3 Tablespoon cold water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream for garnish
grated fresh nutmeg for garnish

Spoon caramel into the bottom of 6 glass ramekins or small drinking glasses.  There should be about a 1 inch layer of caramel on the bottom.  Refrigerate caramel in glasses while making the panna cotta.

Sprinkle gelatin over the water in a measuring cup.  Set aside for 5 minutes to soften.  Heat in the microwave on high for 20 seconds to dissolve.

Please the cream and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Tiny bubbles should just appear around the perimeter of the pan.  Remove pan from heat and whisk in the gelatin.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Whisk in the pumpkin, spice, and vanilla until well combined.

Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a 4 cup measuring cup for easy pouring.  Pour over the cold caramel.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg.

source:  Phillis Carey the Casual Gourmet

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