Christine @ Slowlivingessentials recently made a wonderful cheesecake. Here is her post about it. She used home made labneh and as I have been experimenting once again with making yoghurts this inspired me to make one too!
So here we go: my first home made cheesecake for over ten years…..
This is how I made mine:
I used a 24 cm spring-form tin and lined the base with baking parchment
First I made the base
10 large digestive biscuits
6 ginger biscuits
80 grams melted unsalted butter
To make the base :
Whizz biscuits in food processor or place them in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin to a fine crumb. Melt the butter and mix well with the biscuit crumbs.
Spread the mixture evenly on the baking parchment and press it down firmly.
Bake for 12 minutes in a preheated oven at 150 º C.
For the filling:
3 limes – zest and juice
100 grams sugar
3 large eggs
50 ml lactose free milk
675 grams labneh – made from Jersey and Guernsey Gold Top milk (see below)
While the base cooks, whisk the eggs lightly, and mix them into the labneh, add the sugar, a little milk (no need to use lactose free, you could use single cream) and finally the zest and lime juice. The mixture was medium runny like a very thick pancake batter and there were a few small bit of curds floating around.
I poured the batter on top of the base, put the whole thing on a baking sheet and baked for an hour on 150 º C/300 º F/Gas 2. By this point it was set but very wobbly, like a blancmange, so I left for another half an hour with the oven turned down to 100 º C.
The top became a bit more yellow but stayed smooth and even. The filling started to pull away from the edges a little and it was more solid looking by then. I then let it cool, put it in the fridge and we didn’t eat it till the next day. I also froze some of it, putting grease proof paper between the slices as it makes enough for at least 8 – 10 slices.
Topped with passion fruit coulis and some English blueberries.
This was a very zingy cheesecake, quite dense, I am sure that you can get different results depending on how your labneh comes out and what else you add. As Christine discovered it sets beautifully. If you have a sweeter tooth you might want to add more sugar and reduce the lime juice or even just use the zest and leave out the juice altogether.
To make extra thick labneh for cheesecake
I bought creamy golden milk called Gold Top, made with rich Guernsey and Jersey milk. The bottle said it had 5 % fat, so by my sums if a litre of that makes 500 grams of labneh, then the filling would be about 10 % dairy fat plus the eggs, so not a slimming dessert but not maybe as full on as a cheesecake made with loads of cream.
Make sure that everything you use to make yoghurt is squeaky clean and ideally pour boiling water over all your utensils.
If you are using regular pasteurised milk you need to scald it to 85-90 º C and keep it at that temperature for about 10 minutes. Cool the milk to 50 º C (122F). For a thicker yoghurt whisk in 2 large spoonfuls of milk powder to each litre of milk. You can experiment with how much milk powder to add. Alternatively use UHT milk which you can use straight from the carton.
Once cool mix with your starter yoghurt and incubate using whatever method you prefer. I use a little heated yoghurt maker, but you can also use a thermos flask or the easi yo system. You can leave it in a warm room too as yoghurt will culture that way as well, I am sure that in many countries where yoghurt is traditionally made it is not put in a yoghurt maker but just left to do its thing! I have done the leaving it in a warm room method and I find the yoghurt can take a very long time to gell that way and I get a more consistent yoghurt if I use the heated yoghurt maker, but there are many ways to do this and I don’t think my way is particularly better than anyone else’s.
Once made, yoghurt is preserved by its acidity, so keeps well in the fridge for a week or more.
To make labneh, strain the yoghurt over a bowl for a few hours. * I use muslin cheesecloth in a sieve and then I pop a clean showercap over the top of the whole thing to stop anything falling into it. You will then end up with a quantity of delicious whey you can use to bake bread with, example of a lovely loaf you can try here – or freeze till you want to use it – and fabulous solid curds that you can use in the recipe above or as a substitute for cream cheese in many other dishes.
* Choclette says below that yoghurt needs to be strained for 12 – 24 hours to get labneh. My experience is that it depends on the state of the yoghurt when you start off. This very rich and thick yoghurt drained very quickly and was ready to use in about 4 hours, but a thinner yoghurt would probably be best left for longer, overnight in a cool room at least.