Glorious labneh

When I decided to make homemade fro-yo, I found out that greek yogurt is strained yogurt, which is also labneh. Since I live in the Middle East, labneh is aplenty and more affordable than Greek yogurt. I love its creamy texture which is cream cheese-like but without all that fat. It spreads nicely too. Mmm..

Anyway, I figured that lovely texture of labneh could be made into a cheesecake so I googled for yogurt cheesecake recipes. I narrowed it down to two recipes — one uses a mix of cream cheese and labneh (Greek yogurt) while the other just uses labneh (Greek yogurt). I made the one with cream cheese and labneh as I had some cream cheese in my fridge and wanted to use it.

Results: I love it! I definitely didn’t feel guilty at all having seconds or thirds.. or fourths! :p

Here’s the recipe I didn’t use but am keeping for future reference: Vanilla Lime Yogurt Cheesecake.

24oz strained yogurt
1-2 small eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice and zest of half a lime
graham cracker crust (I used premade)

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix the wet ingredients, pour into the crust, and put in the oven.
Bake till the outer edge of the batter just starts to brown (about 40 minutes)
Remove, let cool for about 10 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator till set, or until you want to eat it.

And here’s the recipe I used: Vanilla Yogurt Cheesecake. I made my cheesecake in a muffin pan (so I made mini cheesecakes) and without any crust.

Yogurt Cheesecake
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
16-oz Greek-style yogurt, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Prebake a graham cracker base into a 9-inch springform pan (see recipe below); a 9-inch graham cracker pie crust should work fairly well, too. This cheesecake can also be baked without a crust.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a food processor, blend cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and salt until mixture is very, very smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake is set and jiggles only slightly when gently tapped.
Cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Serves 10

Springform Graham Cracker Base
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Press into a 9-inch springform pan, pressing the crust slightly up the sides if you don’t wish to have a thick crust on the bottom.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set. Cool completely before filling.


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