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Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta

A creamy treat held together with gelatin, this Italian dessert can be infused with any flavor you can think of. While the cream is cooking, you can add fruits, flavorings and spices, chocolate, or liqueurs. The possibilities are endless.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings


  • 12 4-ounce ramekins
  • cooking spray
  • fine mesh sieve


  • 3 ½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pomegranate seeds
  • candied cinnamon walnuts, chopped recipe to follow

Candied Walnuts

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp salt


  • Lightly spray ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a small, nonstick pan (with the heat off)  pour 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle gelatin over water and let bloom for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed pot, add cream, milk, sugar, hazelnut liqueur, pumpkin, spices, and vanilla and bring to a gentle boil.
  • On low heat,  heat the saucepan with water and gelatin until gelatin is completely dissolved. Using a rubber spatula, scrape gelatin into cream mixture. Whisk thoroughly.
  • Strain liquid into another container using a fine-mesh sieve and whisk. Pour the strained liquid into prepared ramekins and chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Turn out ramekin onto a plate and garnish with chopped candied, cinnamon walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.

To Make Candied Walnuts

  • In a medium-sized skillet, add butter, sugar, and walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt.  Stir occasionally until sugar and butter are melted then pour-out coated walnuts onto a piece of foil or parchment paper.
  • Once completely cool, the walnuts can be chopped and stored in an air-tight container.


1. People have different ways of extracting the seeds from a pomegranate. Some methods seem very intricate and take unnecessary time. In my opinion, cut the pomegranate in half (keeping the stem intact), give it a good squeeze. Then, using a wooden spoon, give the skin-side a  good amount of whacks. This can be a messy endeavor as seeds can go flying and the juice will stain everything in sight. My solution to this is to put the two halves in a large ziplock bag before the squeezing and whacking begin.
Even easier - buy frozen pomegranate seeds.
2. This recipe yields a creamy, pudding-like texture that has just enough gelatin to hold its shape. If you like a firmer pannacotta just add another ½ -1 teaspoon more of gelatin to the recipe.
3. Any container can be used as a ramekin. At the restaurant, we use paper, to-go soup cups. For this recipe, I used disposable tins that I found at a baking store. No need to invest in ramekins if you don’t want to.