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In Tel Aviv, tangy yogurt makes for a creamier version of an Italian classic
Milk Street Bowtie Yogurt Panna Cotta with Sumac Syrup

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Sumac Syrup

Appears in May-June 2020

3¾ hours 45 minutes active

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Sumac Syrup

Free

This panna cotta is more nuanced than standard all-cream panna cotta. Just the right amount of yogurt adds a creamy suppleness and a subtle tang, and lemon zest and thyme lend their perfume. Panna cotta is made in individual portions that often are unmolded for serving, but we simply bring the ramekins to the table, each topped with a spoonful of sweet-tart sumac- and lemon-infused syrup. Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice with a brick-red hue and tangy, citrusy flavor; look for it in well-stocked supermarkets and Middle Eastern grocery stores.

1½ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
2 lemons
1 cup heavy cream
2 large thyme sprigs
72 grams (⅓ cup) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar, divided
Table salt
1 tablespoon ground sumac
Ingredients
  • teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

  • 2

    cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2

    lemons

  • 1

    cup heavy cream

  • 2

    large thyme sprigs

  • 72

    grams (⅓ cup) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar, divided

  • Table salt

  • 1

    tablespoon ground sumac

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons water; set aside. Place the yogurt in a medium heatproof bowl or 1-quart liquid measuring cup, then place a fine mesh strainer across the top; set aside. Using a vegetable peeler, remove eight 4-inch-long strips of zest from 1 lemon; grate the zest from the second lemon and reserve separately from the zest strips. Squeeze ¼ cup juice from the lemons.
  2. 02
    In a small saucepan, combine the cream, 4 strips lemon zest, the 72 grams (⅓ cup) sugar, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium, stirring, until the mixture begins to simmer at the edges. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. 03
    Strain the cream mixture into the yogurt; discard the solids in the strainer. Whisk in the grated lemon zest. Divide the mixture evenly among six 6-ounce ramekins. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold and set, at least 3 hours. If storing for longer than 3 hours, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, the remaining 4 zest strips, the 54 grams (¼ cup) sugar, ½ cup water and a pinch of salt. Simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ⅓ cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the sumac and cool to room temperature.
  5. 05
    Pour the syrup into a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl; discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate until cold or for up to 3 days. To serve, uncover the ramekins and spoon chilled sumac syrup onto each panna cotta, dividing it evenly.
Tip: Don't use nonfat or low-fat yogurt. Whole-milk yogurt is essential for smooth, lush richness. And don't use Greek yogurt, which is too thick.
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Yogurt Panna Cotta with Sumac Syrup

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

3¾ hours

45 minutes active

Tip

Don't use nonfat or low-fat yogurt. Whole-milk yogurt is essential for smooth, lush richness. And don't use Greek yogurt, which is too thick.

Ingredients
  • teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

  • 2

    cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2

    lemons

  • 1

    cup heavy cream

  • 2

    large thyme sprigs

  • 72

    grams (⅓ cup) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar, divided

  • Table salt

  • 1

    tablespoon ground sumac

Step 1 of 5

Zest and Juice Lemon

teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
2
cups plain whole-milk yogurt
2
lemons

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons water; set aside. Place the yogurt in a medium heatproof bowl or 1-quart liquid measuring cup, then place a fine mesh strainer across the top; set aside.


Using a vegetable peeler, remove eight 4-inch-long strips of zest from 1 lemon; grate the zest from the second lemon and reserve separately from the zest strips. Squeeze ¼ cup juice from the lemons.

Step 2 of 5

Prepare Cream Mixture

1
cup heavy cream
72
grams (⅓ cup) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar, divided
2
large thyme sprigs
Table salt

In a small saucepan, combine the cream, 4 strips lemon zest, the 72 grams (⅓ cup) sugar, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium, stirring, until the mixture begins to simmer at the edges. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Step 3 of 5

Refrigerate Panna Cotta

Strain the cream mixture into the yogurt; discard the solids in the strainer. Whisk in the grated lemon zest. Divide the mixture evenly among six 6-ounce ramekins. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold and set, at least 3 hours. If storing for longer than 3 hours, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Step 4 of 5

Prepare Sumac Syrup

72
grams (⅓ cup) plus 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar, divided
1
tablespoon ground sumac

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, the remaining 4 zest strips, the 54 grams (¼ cup) sugar, ½ cup water and a pinch of salt. Simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ⅓ cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the sumac and cool to room temperature.

Step 5 of 5

Finish and Serve

Pour the syrup into a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl; discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate until cold or for up to 3 days. To serve, uncover the ramekins and spoon chilled sumac syrup onto each panna cotta, dividing it evenly.

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