Labneh Panna Cotta with Orange Blossom Granita


This dessert is all about contrast—in temperature, texture, and flavor. Smooth and creamy panna cotta is paired with a lightly floral, lightly sweet granita for an icy, cool bite. A base of tangy, tart apricot jam and a garnish of crispy crumbled toasted baguette finishes off each plate.

Labneh Panna Cotta with Orange Blossom Granita Recipe
Photo: Tara Donne
Active Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs



  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 (1/4-ounces) envelope unflavored gelatin

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

  • Cooking spray


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 1/4 cups fresh orange juice

  • 4 teaspoons orange blossom water


  • 8 ounces apricots (about 6 medium), halved and pitted, or 1 3/4 cups thawed frozen apricot halves (about 8 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 6 (1/8-inch-thick) baguette slices

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 ounces white chocolate bar (such as Ghirardelli White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar), finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)


Make the panna cotta

  1. Place yogurt in a large measuring cup with a spout; set aside. Combine cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low just until steaming, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together gelatin and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Remove cream mixture from heat. Whisk gelatin mixture into cream mixture until incorporated. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into measuring cup with yogurt; discard any solids. Whisk yogurt mixture until smooth; divide evenly among 8 (4-ounce) lightly greased (with cooking spray) ramekins. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Make the granita

  1. Stir together sugar, 2/3 cup water, and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Pour into a 13- x 9-inch metal baking pan. Stir in orange juice and orange blossom water. Freeze mixture, uncovered, until just set but not completely frozen, about 1 hour. Rake through granita using a fork, breaking up any large chunks. Return mixture to freezer; freeze until completely set and frozen, 2 to 3 hours. Rake through granita with a fork until it is completely broken up and no large chunks remain. Granita can be transferred to an airtight container and frozen up to 2 weeks.

Make the apricot jam

  1. Combine apricots and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Cover and cook over medium, stirring often, until apricots are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar. Cook, uncovered, stirring often and mashing apricots with back of spoon, until sugar melts and mixture has thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. (To check if jam is thick enough, place 1 teaspoon jam on a chilled plate. Let stand 5 seconds, and drag a spoon through the center. If jam flows back into empty space, continue cooking.) Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice and salt. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Jam can be chilled in an airtight container up to 1 week.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven until crisp and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer crostini to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 10 minutes. Break into small pieces.

  3. To serve, place about 1 tablespoon apricot jam in each of 8 shallow serving bowls; spread jam into a 4-inch circle. Run a small offset spatula around edges of panna cotta. Dip bottom halfs of ramekins in hot water for 10 seconds. Invert panna cotta servings onto jam. Spoon about 1/4 cup granita around one side of each panna cotta. Sprinkle crostini pieces and chopped white chocolate over granita. Serve immediately. Reserve remaining granita and jam for another use.

Make Ahead

Jam can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week. Granita can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Panna cotta can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 days.

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