Absinthe Panna Cotta with Honeyed Grapefruit

Lisa Giffen

Maison Premiere - Brooklyn, NY

Absinthe and a honeyed grapefruit topping add intrigue to this creamy panna cotta. Lisa Giffen likes to serve this dessert in a pontartier, the traditional glass for drinking absinthe. 


1 1/2 sheets gelatin 
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 1/2 tablespoons absinthe
1 grapefruit 
1 tablespoon honey  


Make the panna cotta: fill a large bowl with cold water. Add the gelatin sheets. Let soak for 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine the heavy cream and sugar in a medium pot. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the cream is just beginning to steam.

Squeeze any excess water out of the gelatin sheets and add them to the warm cream. Whisk until the gelatin is dissolved. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk the absinthe into the cream mixture. Divide the cream mixture among four 3-ounce ramekins or glasses.  Refrigerate the panna cottas for at least 2 hours before serving.

Make the honeyed grapefruit: use a knife to cut off the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Standing the fruit on one end, use a knife to remove the peel, working your way around the entire fruit. Then, working over a bowl to catch the juices, use a paring knife to separate the fruit segments from the membrane. Once all the segments have been removed, squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes. Discard the membranes. 

Place the juice in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until reduced by a third, about 7 minutes. Set aside. 

Place the grapefruit segments in an even layer in a sauté pan. Cook over low heat, occasionally shaking the pan to move the segments and prevent scorching. Cook until the segments are beginning to fall apart, about 7 minutes. Drizzle the honey over the grapefruit and continue to cook until the fruit is translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir in the reduced juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

To serve, top each panna cotta with a spoonful of honeyed grapefruit. 


4 servings