If you like cream cheese and the tangy flavours of feta you will absolutely love Labne (Hung) Yoghurt Cheese! Preserved in oil, and spiced with a blend of lemons, garlic and paprika, it will last for a month! It’s a much healthier version than store-bought cream cheese, too.
How do you make Yoghurt (Hung) Cream Cheese and Labne
That’s right it only takes a sinlge ingredient to make it: natural or Greek-style yoghurt. The other 4 ingredients are there to preserve and flavour the cheese. I prefer the savoury herb and spice version, but the yoghurt cheese goes just as well with honey, nuts and raspberries or poached dried fruit as a dessert.
It’s creamy, tangy and goes well as a spread, dip, as a base on bruschetta or even mixed into a Greek salad or dolloped onto grilled lamb. And because it is made from yoghurt it contains very little if no fat if you choose a no-fat yoghurt! How good is that?
Once placed in oil, labne will keep in the fridge for up to 1 year. It will get more sour with age, so I recommend consuming it within a month. I’m sure that won’t be an issue – it’s so tasty!
Labne Yoghurt Cheese Balls
For Labne Yoghurt Cheese Balls:
- 500 g Greek-style yoghurt 17.5oz
- 1 square 1/2 sqm gauze muslin or cheese cloth
Flavoured oil option 1:
- 2 cups olive oil
- 4 cloves galic sliced
- 2 slices lemon
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
Flavoured oil option 2:
- 2 cups olive oil
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tbsp Zataar or other Middle Eastern spice blend
To make the cheese:
- Fold the cheesecloth into a 30-40cm square, 2-3 single layers thick. Place the cloth over a bowl. Mix yoghurt in the tub and spoon into the middle of the cheese cloth. Gather the edges up tightly and tie into a knot on the top.
- Using a couple of bamboo skewers, or a chopstick, hang the yoghurt ball over a plastic container and place in the fridge. Allow the whey (milky water) to drip into the container for 24 - 36 hours. Pour off the whey (and keep for use in smoothier or cake batters) after the first 12 or so hours and you will be able to see how much is draining over the next period.
To preserve the cheese in oil and herbs:
- Place oil, sliced garlic, lemon or bay leaves into a tall airtight container or jar. Add spices and mix well. Gently unwrap the cheese and place into the oil. Pop the jar in the fridge and leave for a couple of hours for the flavours to infuse. The powdered spices will settle on top of the cheese lending it their flavour.
- Spread spoonfuls on bread or grilled meat, or mix into salads. See note above about olive oil "setting".
- Seal in a jar or a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 1 month, although the cheese will keep for longer.