This blog was started in March of 2010, so that my sister Pauline and I could share recipes and talk about family, traditions, and food. It feels somewhat unsettling coming back to it now that Pauline passed away and can no longer share it with me.. But today, in her memory, I was determined to share the recipe for a wonderful labne tart that I made. How she would have enjoyed not only eating it, but giving me a commentary on the recipe.
Labne is a yogurt cheese which can be purchased in markets that carry Middle Eastern foods. It is the consistency of cream cheese and in my opinion, it is more delicious and much lower in calories. I prefer the Turkish labne which is mild and mellow tasting. You can also make your own labne by straining plain yogurt overnight. There are several websites online that give specific directions in straining yogurt to make labne.
I used Alice Medrich's Labne recipe as adapted by Nicholas Day.
Makes 1 tart
8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
3/4teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (4.5 ounces3 eggs
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
16ounces labneh (aka: lebni, labni, kefir cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Find your tart pan (9 and 1/2 inch with a removable bottom)
2. In a bowl, combine the butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. (If the dough is too soft, let it sit for several minutes.) Press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the tart pan; there will be just enough for a thin layer. Place the pan on a cookie sheet.
3. Bake until the crust is a deep, golden brown, 20-25 minutes. If the dough begins to inflate after about 15 minutes, press it down with the back of a fork and prick it. When the crust is finished, remove it from the oven and lower the heat to 300.
4. While the crust is in the oven, make the filling, whisking together in this order: the eggs with the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Then whisk in the labneh.
Pour the filling into the hot crust, spreading it evenly. Bake until the filling is set around the edges but quivers in the middle, about 15 to 20 minutes. This is crucial: check it several times in the last few minutes; be careful not to over-bake. Cool on a rack; if not serving within three hours, refrigerate