How to Make Labneh or Yogurt Cheese
Once you have mastered the art of making your own yogurt at home, try this easy to make yogurt cheese.
- 1 quart of plain yogurt (full fat yields a creamier texture of cheese)***
- 2 stainless steel or glass bowls
- String or very thick rubber band
***Avoid commercial yogurts containing gelatin. Gelatin prevents the whey (liquid) from separating out and making the cheese.
1. Pour yogurt into a large bowl and stir just until smooth. Take the cheesecloth and fold into several layers of thickness. Place the cheesecloth in the second bowl so that it is laying flat against the bottom with the ends up and over the sides of the bowl. Use the clothespins to pin the cheesecloth securely to the edges of the bowl.
2. Transfer the yogurt into the bowl with the cheesecloth, and then gather up the ends of the cheesecloth removing the clothespins one at a time. You will end up with a cheesecloth "sack" containing the yogurt. Tie the sack securely with string or wrap with the rubber band making sure to leave a loop to hang it from.
3. Hang the sack containing the yogurt from a cabinet knob or handle and place the bowl underneath to catch the whey that will drain out of the yogurt. Let the yogurt drain for 8 to 24 hours. The longer the yogurt drains, the thicker the yogurt cheese will be. Overnight is preferable. The yogurt can also be left to drain in the refrigerator.
4. Remove the sack and open it up. You will see the yogurt cheese. Discard the whey or liquid that has drained out of the yogurt or use it for cooking, whichever you prefer. Store the yogurt cheese in the refrigerator. It should keep for approximately one week.
5. One cup of yogurt yields about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of yogurt cheese.
6. Serve the yogurt cheese sprinkled with chopped spearmint leaves or drizzled with a little olive oil along with pita bread, black olives, stuffed grape leaves, tabouleh, or any of your favorite Middle Eastern foods.
Recommended Reading: The Book of Yogurt
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