Michael Laiskonis likes the retro charm of melon balls: He marinates them in lime and ginger and matches them with vanilla granita and a light, citrusy yogurt cream. Not too many pastry chefs would be brave enough to put yogurt on their menus, but Laiskonis says, "I'm on a yogurt crusade." This dessert should make him some converts.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

Michael Laiskonis
July 2003


Credit: © Anna Williams

Recipe Summary

40 mins
2 hrs 40 mins


Citrus Yogurt


Instructions Checklist
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water with the sugar, the vanilla bean and its seeds and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Discard the vanilla bean and stir in the lemon juice.

  • Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish and freeze for 2 hours, stirring with a fork every 30 minutes, until the granita is light and snowy. Transfer the granita to a plastic container, cover and freeze.

  • In a large bowl, combine the orange juice with the sugar, lime juice, ginger, mint and lime zest and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the melon balls and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.

  • In a small microwavable cup, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave on high power for 10 seconds, just until the gelatin is dissolved. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the sugar, honey, orange zest and gelatin and stir until smooth. Chill the citrus yogurt just until set, about 30 minutes.

  • Spoon the yogurt into bowls. Drain the melon balls and mound them on the yogurt. Spoon the granita on top and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 up to 1 day ahead.