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Posts tagged ‘roasted fruit’

Homemade Labneh With Roasted Fruit, Walnuts And A Honey Thyme Drizzle



I love a challenge and when I heard that Chobani was asking home cooks to develop recipes for their “Made With Chobani” challenge I was inspired to create a recipe for them. I am a big fan of yogurt, I eat it every day and I am also a big fan of Chobani, it’s thick and creamy and delicious. I want you to know that I am NOT being compensated in any way for this, I am simply doing what I love to do, cook and meet a challenge and the opinion is completely my own. 

They said the recipe can be a meal, appetizer or dessert. I used Chobani plain yogurt (4% milk fat) to make a healthful dessert that is not just delicious but it would make a lovely light dessert for the holidays. I adapted a recipe for homemade Labneh from one I found on Food52, roasted some seasonal pears and some grapes, toasted some walnuts, drizzled all of this with a simple honey thyme syrup and garnished with pomegranate arils.

What is Labneh, well it’s very simple, it’s yogurt cheese. When I say simple I really mean it, all you need is a good quality yogurt, like the Chobani yogurt I used, some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. No cooking required you only need to mix the lemon juice and salt with the yogurt and strain through a piece of cheese cloth or muslin. Labneh can be used with either a savory or sweet dish. for a savory use of Labneh drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt, dukkah, zaatar, herbs whatever you like.  I used whole milk yogurt in my dish, it’s a bit of an indulgence for my Holiday Table but this cheese can be made with low fat or even “Zero” fat yogurt with the same creamy delicious results.

Labneh after 12 hours draining

Labneh after 12 hours draining

Homemade Labneh

Serves 6-8

12 Oz Plain 2% or 4% Fat Greek Yogurt

1/2 – 1  tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

pinch of sea salt

Mix yogurt, lemon juice and salt thoroughly. Place strainer over a bowl and drape with cheese cloth, place yogurt mixture into the cheese cloth and fold over so the yogurt is covered. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. At 12 hours the labneh will be somewhat firm and spreadable and at 24 hours it will be even thicker. It’s wonderful either way.

Roasted Fruit

Roasted Fruit

Fruit and Walnuts

4 ripe pears peeled, cut in half and cored ( I used bosc)

1 small bunch red seedless grapes (removed from stem) approximately 2 cups

1 tbs butter

2 tbs organic  sugar

1 1/2 cup walnuts

Pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degree’s. Butter a rectangular baking dish and place pears and grapes in the dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes, the fruit should be tender. Remove from oven. Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes approximately, you will know they are done when you can smell the walnuts be careful and watch the nuts they can burn quickly.

Honey Thyme Drizzle

1/4 cup honey of your choice

1/3 cup juice from cooked fruit

2 sprigs thyme

pinch of sea salt

Add the honey, juice and thyme sprigs to a small saucepan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, remove thyme sprig and remove from heat. If your fruit does not give off 1/4 cup of juice substitute another type of juice or water . You will need approximately 1/2 cup of the syrup.

A bowl of goodness

A bowl of goodness

To Serve:

You can set out on a platter or serve on individual plates. A slab of labneh surrounded by the roasted fruit, toasted nuts and drizzled with the honey thyme syrup, scatter some pomegranate arils over the fruit before serving.

Light, festive and delicious

Light, festive and delicious




Happy Mothers Day-Chiffon Cake With Roasted Strawberries And Rhubarb

Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake

I make this cake all the time, it’s light and has a velvety texture, it is similar to angel food cake, baked in an ungreased tube pan and laden with whipped egg whites, the difference here is that this cake contains oil (yes oil not butter) and egg yolks. Chiffon cake was big in the 1950’s and makes a very elegant dessert served with your choice of fruit or berries and some whipped cream it is absolutely delicious. The cake is lightly scented with lemon, rises high above the pan and is light as a feather. I have tried many recipes, but when I came upon this one from the great James McNair I found a keeper. It’s the only recipe I use and it turns out perfectly every time. Wrap what you don’t use well and keep in a cool dry place, the cake stays fresh for several days. You can also wrap well and freeze, it defrosts beautifully. Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s!!

Chiffon Cake

From James McNair’s Cakes

2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup egg yolks (from 6-7 large eggs) at room temperature and lightly beaten

3/4 cup water

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tbs pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup egg whites (from approximately 10 eggs) at room temperature

1 tsp cream of tartar

Make sure your rack is in the middle of oven and pre heat to 325 degrees. Have a 10 inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom ready. You do not need to grease or flour the pan.

Place the flour, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, baking powder and salt in strainer or sifter and sift into a large metal bowl. Add the water, egg yolks, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until very smooth approximately 1 minute. Set aside.

In the metal bowl of a stand mixer with a wire whip  beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium and beat until very soft billowy mounds form, with mixer running slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar a tbs at a time and beat until very stiff but not dry (about 6 minutes) It’s important that the egg whites be beaten until stiff.

Transfer about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter and stir gently to incorporate and lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and using a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula gently fold into the batter until incorporated.

Gently scrape the batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your fingertip in the thickest part of the cake and a wooden skewer comes out clean. Baking time is about 1 hour. NOTE: You don’t want to open the oven door until the prescribed baking time is just about up, the cake could fall if you do this, so leave it for at least 55 minutes before you test the cake for doneness.

Remove pan from the oven and let it cool upside down you can use a bottle for this, the cake should be elevated. The cake rises quite high so it’s important not to let the upside down cake rest on the surface of the counter. Let cool completely at least  1 1/2 hours.

To remove cake from pan, place pan upright on work surface and using a thin blade knife carefully insert on the side of the pan careful not to cut the cake and holding the pan in place work your way around the cake, then do the same in the center around the tube. Carefully lift the bottom of the pan and with the cake sideways tap the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake, if necessary run the thin blade of the knife around the bottom to loosen. Invert onto cooling rack and transfer to serving plate.

Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb

2 stalks rhubarb cleaned and chopped

2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut in half

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbs cointreau or your favorite fruity liquor

pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, line sheet pan with parchment. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar,salt and cointreau  to a bowl, toss to combine and turn out onto sheet pan.Lay berries and their juices in a single layer and bake until berries and rhubarb are soft about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Set aside

Serve cake with the strawberries and rhubarb and a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Delicious!

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb