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Course: Sweets
Keyword: Bone Marrow Panna Cotta, Desserts, Entertaining, Make-Ahead

Bone Marrow Panna Cotta

Bone marrow panna cotta topped with corn flakes and a Luxardo cherry.
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
While unquestionably delicious in savory applications, bone marrow works in many a sweet recipe where fat delivers most of the flavor, like panna cotta. This cooked cream dish from Italy is a prime candidate for a dessert made with meaty marrow, especially when topped with Luxardo cherries, which also happen to be Italian.
This recipe first appeared in Season 2 of Good Eats: The Return.
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  • 6 (6- to 7-inch) canoe-cut marrow bones
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 3/4 cups half and half
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • Pinch smoked Maldon sea salt or additional kosher salt
  • 6 Luxardo cherries, for serving

Specialized Hardware

6 (4-ounce) silicone molds, small bowls or teacups
Rolling Pin
Fine-mesh sieve
Bone marrow panna cotta topped with corn flakes and a Luxardo cherry.
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • Heat the oven to 425°F, and place a rack in the center position.
  • Place the bones, cut-side down, on a half sheet pan. Cover with a generous layer of aluminum foil, then use your hands to mold the foil around the bones and sides of the pan. Place a second half sheet pan on top of the foil, then flip the whole apparatus over. Remove the sheet pan that is now on top to reveal the bones, cut-side up and nestled in foil.
  • Bake until the marrow has just softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and rest until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Scoop the marrow out of the bones and into a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and cook, breaking up large pieces of marrow with a wooden spoon, until all of the marrow has rendered, 10 to 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a heat-proof jar or liquid measuring cup. Measure out 1/2 cup of the rendered marrow, reserving the remainder for another use, such as roasting potatoes. Clean the saucepan; you’ll need it again.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and water and set aside to bloom for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the half and half, sugar, and kosher salt to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat until the mixture reaches between 160 to 170°F, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the gelatin. Blend on low speed until the gelatin is dissolved, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 6 tablespoons of the reserved rendered marrow to the blender, saving the remaining 2 tablespoons for the topping. Blend on medium speed for 1 minute, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl.
  • Divide the mixture between six 4-ounce silicone molds, small bowls, 4-ounce glass jars, or teacups. Cover and refrigerate until the panna cottas are set, at least 5 hours, or up to overnight.
  • For the topping: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons marrow in a skillet over medium heat. When the marrow is shimmering, add the cornflakes and cook, stirring frequently, until they turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the smoked salt. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and cool.
  • Transfer the cornflakes to a gallon-sized zip-top bag and seal. Use a rolling pin to crush the flakes to form small flakes. Set aside for serving.
  • When ready to serve, remove the panna cottas from the fridge and uncover. Top with the crushed cornflakes and a cherry. If you’d like to turn the panna cotta out onto a plate, top with a small plate, flip over, then gently push on the bottom of the mold to dislodge. Top and serve.
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