Yogurt Panna Cotta Tart with Blood Oranges and Grapefruit

March 15, 2017

Winter at the farmers’ market is a bit ho hum for me. If it weren’t for citrus, I’d probably have to buy vegetables and actually cook for once. Luckily, I did not need to resort to such drastic measures and instead, made a lovely citrus tart using some beautiful dark Moro blood oranges and pink grapefruit. I’ve always loved the idea of panna cotta, so creamy, smooth and flecked with vanilla bean, but something was missing texturally. It needed crunch. I used the panna cotta as a filling for this tart and topped it with slices of citrus.

Yogurt Panna Cotta Tart with Blood Oranges and Grapefruit
Adapted from Williams Sonoma
Serves 8


Sablee Crust:
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cold water, plus extra if needed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Large pinch of kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1″ cubes

Panna Cotta:
1 1/8 tsp. (1/2 package) unflavored powdered gelatin
3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 orange zest strips, each 2-3 inches long
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

Citrus Topping:
4 small to medium citrus fruits, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick (I used 3 blood oranges and 1 grapefruit)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more depending on sweetness of citrus
1 tsp. lemon juice


For the crust:

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and water until combined. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Slowly drizzle in the egg mixture while pulsing until the dough just starts to come together. It should clump slightly. To test, take a small portion in your hand and if the dough holds together, you’re done. If it’s a bit crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it holds.

Transfer the dough to your counter and bring together to form a round disc. Flatten to about 1″ thick. The flatter the disc, the more quickly the dough will chill and the easier it will be to roll out. Let chill for at least 1 hour. I like to leave it overnight and resume the process the next day.

Preheat oven to 350.

Once the dough has chilled, take it out and leave on the counter for about 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your room, to soften slightly before rolling. It should be cold but pliable. Roll out the dough into a 1/4″ thick circle. If at any point it gets too soft, place the dough onto a sheet pan and place in the fridge for 5 minute before resuming.

Fit the dough into your 9″ tart pan. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. Then line with parchment, fill with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes or until the dough appears dry. Remove the parchment and weights and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely in the pan.

For the filling:

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the milk. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup milk into a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk, then add the pod. Add the sugar and the zest strips. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and zest strips. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended.

Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Just before serving, prepare the citrus topping. Using a sharp knife, cut a slice off both ends of each fruit to reveal the flesh. Place the fruit upright on a cutting board and cut downward to remove all of the peel and white pith, following the contour of the fruit. Then cut each fruit into 1/4″ wheels. Gently place the slices onto a quarter sheet pan or plate. Add any of the juices from slicing. Sprinkle citrus with 2 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice. Let macerate for 10 minutes. Then carefully arrange the slices on top of the tart. Serve immediately. I like to drizzle a bit of the leftover fruit juice from macerating, onto each piece of tart.

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