Labne is a cream cheese made from strained natural yoghurt. Made from cow, sheep or goats milk, it is a delicious cheese that while rich and creamy keeps that unique natrual yogurt tartness.
A traditional ingredient in middle eastern cuisine, this cheese is popular to make as it, prolongs the life of yoghurt, is perfect for cooking with (as the higher fat content to moisture will prevent it curdling at different cooking temperatures) and tastes great in both savoury and sweet dishes.
Labne, also known as labnah/labna will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks covered in oil. The creamier the cheese the longer the straining process will take, however you can make a delicious labne within as little as 24 hours.
Always use the best quality yoghurt when making labne. Try to buy locally made yoghurts from farmers markets as they taste creamy, fresh and unique to where the milk came from. I add few ingredients to my yoghurt during the straining stage and coat them with different herbs and spices after I have rolled them.
Eat labne with bread and crackers, in salads or in pastas and on top of pizza.
1kg thick Greek yoghurt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons sumac
Place yoghurt in a bowl with lemon juice, zest and sea salt and stir to combine. Lay a large piece of muslin cloth or thin clean tea towel in a bowl.
Place the yoghurt in the centre of the fabric, then gather up muslin sides and tie with string. Tie the yoghurt ball to a wooden spoon and rest the spoon on top of a large bowl so that the yoghurt is suspended.
Leave to drain in the fridge for 1 to 3 days (the longer you leave it however the creamier and thicker your cheese will be). Discard the whey that has drained out and remove yoghurt to a bowl.
In the meantime scatter the sumac on a large tray.
Roll yoghurt into golf-sized balls, lay on a baking tray and roll around in the sumac. Place in a sterilised jar and cover with oil and seal.
Keep for up to 1 week.
Makes 10 -15 balls.