My daughter reconciled me with the idea of making cheesecake using labneh (which is drained yogurt cheese). She had made delicious labneh bars (a few years ago she used to look at me and smirk “don’t ever expect me to enjoy cooking”)
Well, here is the verdict: This was the easiest, lightest and fluffiest cheesecake I have made ever. Truth be told, I only like cheesecake when the batter has a whipped meringue in it; otherwise, I think it is too dense and too rich.
My version has a generous amount of grated orange rind (optional). Like all cheesecakes, it lends itself to many versions and flavors.
No SOUR taste whatsoever.
Here it is.
12 plain cookies to line the pan (or more depending on the size of the cookies used)
1 lb labneh (450g.), whole-milk yogurt drained overnight. I used a commercial jar “country-style” labneh
3/4 cup granulated sugar (up to 1 cup if you like it sweeter)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon grated orange or lemon rind
1 tablespoon orange juice or lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)
1. Line the cake pan with baking paper. Line the pan with the cookies. I used a 9″ square pan and rectangular plain cookies that fit perfectly. I used 12 cookies to fill the bottom of the pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, place the labneh, eggs, sugar, orange rind and orange juice. Mix to combine well and add the flour through a sifter. Mix and combine well. The batter should be smooth, creamy and thick. Pour onto the pan over the cookies and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is golden all over and feels set. Cool and serve. The cake can also be refrigerated and serve for several days from the fridge.
NOTE: If making the labneh at home, weigh it after it has been drained overnight. To make labneh, line a sieve with a couple of paper towels and place it over a bowl. Pour the yogurt (full-fat if possible) and let it drain overnight. You should see at least a cup of whey in the bowl. You can dump it or keep it to make something else (bread, cheese, etc). What is left is labneh. Salt it a bit or leave as is and weigh.
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