This orange blossom panna cotta has a delicate orange blossom flavor contrasted by the refreshing tartness of baked rhubarb.
Spring arrived on Tuesday and I was super excited to find one of my favorite vegetables, rhubarb, at the farmers market. A few years ago, I tried growing rhubarb from seeds even though San Diego has a plant hardiness zone 10 and not at all favorable for rhubarb. As a gardener, it was a joy to see them survived the scorching heat of summer, harvested, and became the heroes in pies, crumble, cakes, and ice cream. With the baby keeping us busy these past months, all the gardening plans went on the back burner but we will resume working on our garden and growing rhubarb again.
We’re at the tail end of winter with all the glorious citrus still in abundance but at the beginning of spring when the vegetables like rhubarb are slowly making their entrance. I’ve already made rhubarb pies and rhubarb cakes a few times but I’m excited to share a delicious recipe for an orange blossom panna cotta with baked rhubarb as an ode to winter and a welcome to spring.
At the end of winter, all our citrus trees start to blossom and it’s quite lovely to be in the garden and surrounded by their fragrant. I wanted to pay tribute to winter by using orange blossom water in a yogurt panna cotta and impart that beautiful fragrant. If you haven’t used orange blossom water before, don’t go crazy or the dessert will become too perfumery. It’s quite popular in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and French desserts and can be found in many Middle Eastern markets.
In the past, I enjoyed eating baked rhubarb with rice pudding, yogurt, and vanilla ice cream and thought the tartness of rhubarb would provide a nice contrast in flavor and texture to the creaminess of the panna cotta. Baked rhubarb tend to keep their shape a bit more than poached rhubarb. I love how little time it takes to make this panna cotta and you're rewarded with a beautiful and delicious dessert. This orange blossom panna cotta with baked rhubarb was a perfect way to pay tribute to both winter and spring. Now onto more spring recipes!
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Orange blossom panna cotta with baked rhubarb
- 1 ½ cup organic heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 gelatin sheets, gold strength
- 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 2 tbsps unsalted pistachios, chopped
- 8 oz rhubarb, washed and dried
- 2 tbsps granulated sugar
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange
- Soak gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to let them bloom.
- Combine cream and sugar 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 orange blossom water and yogurt until well combined.
- Divide the cream mixture among six ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for the panna cotta to set.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- To prepare the rhubarb, trim the rhubarb at each end and cut them into ½ inch batons.
- In a baking dish, combine the rhubarb, sugar, and orange juice.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the rhubarb is tender but intact. Let it cool to room temperature.
- When ready to serve, unmold the panna cotta by running 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 baked rhubarb and chopped pistachios.