Make Ahead

Spiced Plum Cheese Round

August  4, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Ever since I discovered a Middle Eastern homemade yogurt cheese recipe aka Labneh, I've made batch after batch. The smooth, creamy hung yogurt, flavoured with a touch of sel de gris forms a good base for the topping of spiced plums. Think breakfast, cheese course or snacks, with crackers, crisp breads, pita chips and whatever else you can dream up. I used low fat yogurt (3.5%) but full fat works very well too. - Kitchen Butterfly —Kitchen Butterfly

Test Kitchen Notes

I'm a sucker for tart fruit, creamy cheese and something crispy. So this dish really fit the bill for me. The spicing on the plums was subtle enough to work in sweet (like in a fruit tart), and savory (on a cheese plate or with roast pork), applications. For North American cooks: 250 Celsius is a super hot oven (475-480°F degrees). For my labneh, I drained a whole quart of regular full fat organic yogurt and ended up with 2 cups of labneh, and used about 1/3-1/2 cup of it per portion. - Savorykitchen —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Spiced Plum Cheese Round
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ginger wine or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 plums (I used red plums), stoned and cut into eights
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 portion Labneh (recipe below)
  • thyme sprigs, for garnish
  • flaked almonds, for garnish
  • Labneh - Yogurt Cheese
  • 3/4 cup Thick Greek or Turkish yogurt (not Greek-style)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Spiced Plum Cheese Round
  2. Preheat your oven to 250 deg C. Mix the maple syrup, ginger wine or grated ginger, cardamom powder, orange zest and pinch of cayenne pepper. Toss the plum eights in the maple syrup mix and place in a bowl that just contains the mix so they plums 'stew' in the juices while they bake.
  3. Place the plums in the centre of the oven and bake 15 - 20 minutes or until soft.
  4. Remove from the oven and stir in the fresh thyme leaves, then leave to cool.
  5. When the plum mixture is cold, spread the Labneh halfway into the base of a 5-6 cm ring or use a ramekin and top the other half with the spiced plums. Return to the refrigerator till ready to serve.
  6. Serve with toasted flaked almonds and thyme sprigs
  1. Labneh - Yogurt Cheese
  2. Stir the yogurt well and season with a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust. You want a hint of the sea and not a gulp. The salt helps draw out the whey (think of cucumbers& aubergines).
  3. Place the yogurt in the centre of a muslin/cheesecloth folded 4 times (or line a sieve with coffee filters). Gather up the ends of the cloth and tie up tight, gently forming a ball. The whey will begin to drip as soon as you begin.
  4. Pass a skewer through the tie/knot and hang over a deep bowl. and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next morning, much of the whey will have drained out leaving you creamy yogurt cheese. Keep the whey in the fridge and stir into your breakfast cereal, smoothies or back into yogurt or find out a myriad other ways to use it – it is rich in protein. Remember Little Miss Muffet?

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Sagegreen
  • gingerroot
  • Abi
I love food and I'm interested in making space for little-heard voices, as well as celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety.

4 Reviews

TheWimpyVegetarian August 19, 2010
This looks amazing! I've saved and will definitely make this one soon!
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
Very nice recipe! And very beautiful.
Abi August 4, 2010
Gosh, all of a sudden I can't see any photos on any recipes all of a sudden! Wonder if it is my computer or the larger system. Oh well.
gingerroot August 4, 2010
This looks so delicious - I think I will start making the yogurt cheese right now! I am out of plums but will try this when I get some more. Until then I have a mango that I am going to experiment with using the yogurt cheese.