dessert, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Fall, Summer

Yoghurt Panna Cotta

When we were growing up, my sister and I went to the children’s services for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Like any good, young, Jews, we followed along with the songs and prayers, not really comprehending the true meaning of anything. In fact, the only thing that stuck with us from those years in adolescent detention was a mind-numbingly repetitive song that ended the service every year.

While the head cantor was in the main temple with our parents, serenading the congregation with the minor melodies of our people, we were trapped with an oddball volunteer who sang a simple, and simply irritating, homemade tune.

Shanah Tovah to Terri, Shanah Tovah to Terri, Shanah Tovah to Te-e-erri, To Terri Shana Tovah.
Shanah Tovah to Dan, Shanah Tovah to Dan, Shanah Tovah to Da-a-an, To Dan Shana Tovah.

To translate, shana tova means (roughly) a good year, or happy new year. This man, with his round glasses, patchwork vest, and peasant-sleeved shirt, went around the room singing his song to every child sitting in his keep. It was sweet at first, oh, he’s wishing us a happy new year, but that thought quickly descended into madness as we realized he was going to look each of us in the eyes and substitute our name in place of our neighbor’s. How many of us are there? Does he really need to sing each of our names? This could take hours! Worse yet, this simpleton didn’t actually know each of our names. So, as he approached your seat, he’d lean over and ask your name, while his assistant vamped on one guitar chord, over, and over, and over (it can take a long time for a frightened child to give up his name). May the lord bless you and keep you if you had a lengthy name with unfolding syllables.

I’m in charge of dessert this year.

Due to Rosh Hashana’s floating placement in our calendar (and the ever simmering temperature of Earth’s atmosphere) apples aren’t quite in season right now. Instead, I’ll make use of Summer-y peaches, far lustier and fleshier than the proverbial biblical apple. A crisp crust of oatmeal and brown sugar, a pool of yoghurt panna cotta, and a geometry of sliced peaches (roasted with cardamom and maple) will sit nicely in my mother’s pie dish.

As adults my sister and I have escaped the mobius-strip song, but we still celebrate together. Sitting side by side this new year, we’ll eat apples and honey, brisket, dessert, drink wine. And silently sing that simpering song to each other all night long while the rest of the table stares in confusion at our endless giggling.

Shanah Tovah to Terri, Shanah Tovah to Terri, Shanah Tovah to Te-e-erri, To Terri Shana Tovah.



  • 1 cup GF Oats

  • ½ cup Brown Sugar

  • ⅓ cup Millet Flour

  • ¼ cup Almond Meal

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • 3 ounces Coconut Oil


  • 3 large Peaches

  • 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup

  • 1 tsp Ground Cardamom 

Panna Cotta

  • 1 packet Powdered Gelatin

  • 3 tbs Water

  • 2 cups Yoghurt (any variety will do)

  • 2 tbs Honey

  • Juice of ½ Lemon

  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  • ½ tsp Salt


  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie dish with a circle of parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the crust with your hands. Squeeze and massage the mixture until there are no visible clumps.

  3. Press the crust into your pie dish and up the sides. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until it is just starting to brown around the edges. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.

  4. While the crust is baking slice the peaches into small wedges. Stir them with the maple syrup and cardamom, then spill them into a roasting pan.

  5. Roast the peaches in your already warm oven for 20-25 minutes, until they’re just showing some color and slightly withered. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

  6. While the crust and peaches are cooling, pour the gelatin over the water in a shallow bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

  7. In a large saucepan whisk the yoghurt, lemon, vanilla, salt and honey over medium heat. When it is quite warm to the touch, turn off the heat.

  8. Pour the gelatin into the yoghurt mixture and whisk until it is completely dissolved.

  9. Pour the yoghurt mixture into the pie dish, into the crust.

  10. Arrange the peaches on top however you like (scattered or spiralled).

  11. Put the dish in your refrigerator at least 3 hours, or overnight, to set.

  12. Slice and eat!


Yield: 8-12 servings

Prep. Time: 45 minutes (plus 3 hours of chilling)