A traditional Italian dessert of blood orange panna cotta with a lovely sweet tart flavor.
Blood oranges are finally making their appearance at the farmers market and I couldn’t be happier. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know how obsessed I am with blood oranges. Three years ago, I even tried growing a Moro blood orange tree but had to let it go due to a citrus virus. After months of trying to get the virus under control I knew my effort was fruitless. For now I’m content with buying blood oranges from my local farmers and snacking on them with yogurt, making sorbet, and baking one of my favorite cakes on this blog. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I am sharing a simple but delicious blood orange and yogurt panna cotta.
Panna cotta was one of the first Italian desserts that I was introduced to when I first dated Vu. We ate mainly Italian food the first year we dated and often ended our meal with panna cotta and gelato. To be honest, after seventeen years of being together, we don’t really celebrate Valentine. With a toddler and baby, who has time for romance! However, I do try to cook a nice meal for us and whip up a dessert that we both like.
For the panna cotta, I used Moro blood oranges, which have the darkest color of all the blood oranges and imparted a lovely shade of pink, perfect for Valentines. The cream is infused with blood orange zest and has a delicious tang from the yogurt. The panna cotta is topped with fresh segmented blood oranges to provide a nice contrast to the creaminess.
I love how sublime this blood orange panna cotta tastes–citrusy, creamy, and custardy, almost like a cross between an English posset and a jello. This blood orange and yogurt panna cotta is a perfect Valentine dessert if you want an elegant but simple dessert that you don’t have to slave over and save time for the main entree.
If you like this blood orange and yogurt panna cotta, check out these recipes: elderflower panna cotta with strawberries and pistachios or buttermilk panna cotta with passion fruit pulp.
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- 1 cup organic heavy cream
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 gelatine sheets, platinum strength
- 1 cup blood orange juice from about 6 oranges, freshly squeezed and strained
- 1/2 cup organic Greek yogurt
- 2 blood oranges
Wash and scrub the blood oranges with warm soapy water to remove any wax, then dry the oranges.
Put sugar in a bowl and zest the blood oranges directly into the bowl. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar.
In another bowl, use a citrus reamer to extract juice from the blood oranges. Strain and set aside.
Soak gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to let them bloom.
Combine cream, sugar, and blood orange zest in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
Lift the gelatin sheets from the cold water and wring gently to remove excess water.
Add the gelatin sheets to the warm cream mixture and stir until they melt completely.
Whisk in the blood orange juice and yogurt until well combined.
Divide the blood orange mixture among six ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for the panna cotta to set.
To make the segmented blood oranges, cut the tops and bottoms off the blood oranges then cut the white pith away from the outside of the fruit.
Cut the wedges of fruit away from the membrane, letting the fruit and juices fall into a prep bowl. Set aside.
To unmold the panna cotta, run a sharp knife around the edges of each ramekin to break the suction, place a serving plate over the top of the ramekin, and invert onto the plate. Garnish with the segmented blood oranges and juice.
1. Don’t boil things made with gelatin or the gelatin will lose its efficacy.
2. If the panna cottas are difficult to release, dip the bottom of the ramekin into a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds and try again.