When it comes to baking, I’m a bit of a control freak. I weigh my ingredients, temper my ingredients, mise en place as best as possible, etc. But when it comes to cooking, it’s a different story. Recipes are rough guidelines. “Seasoned to taste” is how I like to roll (i.e. the name of this blog, “cook til delicious”), with many meals being inspired by the contents of the fridge.
This galette is baked, but was definitely created by my “cooking” self. Originally I had planned to make a fig frangipane galette, but decided last minute to go more savory because, ahem, I didn’t have anything planned for dinner. To be honest, I didn’t precisely measure anything when I made this. (I wasn’t planning on blogging it until an Instagram photo of it sort of exploded, and multiple people asked for the recipe, haha.) This whole thing was definitely fridge-inspired. I had half a pie crust left over from this galette, plus a carton of figs hanging out. My labneh obsession is still going strong so labneh was the easy choice here; but I’m sure ricotta or even bleu cheese would be excellent as well — or even a bit of yogurt and sour cream mixed together. So consider the following “recipe inspiration” — honestly, with fresh figs and pie crust you can’t go too wrong.
Fig, Onion, & Labneh Galette
Makes one medium galette | Serves 4-6
- A batch of your favorite single crust pie dough (I used this one)
- 1/3 cup labneh
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 scallion, sliced
- A dozen medium fresh figs, some halved and some quartered
- Leaves from 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Olive oil / butter, for the onions
- Balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper
- 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water or milk, for egg wash
- Balsamic syrup* for drizzling, optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out your pie crust to about 1/4″ thick in whatever shape you want. Trim the edges if you prefer, or leave them a bit ragged for a more rustic look. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- Caramelize your onions. Over medium heat, warm some olive oil / butter in a medium non-stick pan. Add the onions, a pinch of salt and sugar, and turn heat to low. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized (20-30 minutes). Add some balsamic vinegar towards the end of cooking, if desired. Set aside.
- Mix labneh with the white parts of the scallion (reserving the green for garnish) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove chilled pie crust from the refrigerator. Spread the labneh over the crust, leaving a 1.5-2″ border on all edges. Scatter the caramelized onions evenly over the labneh. Arrange the figs, cut side up, over the onions (I put the halved ones around the edges and the quartered ones in the middle). Scatter the thyme leaves over the figs. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling, and crimp to seal. Return to the fridge to chill until pastry is firm, at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F with a rack in the middle. Prepare egg wash. When ready to bake, brush edges of pastry with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Cool slightly. Garnish with reserved scallion, some flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic syrup. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
*For the balsamic syrup, I put about 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar plus a couple spoonfuls of sugar in a small saucepan and boiled it down until it reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
I really like experimenting in the kitchen, but I’m also kinda cheap. The contents of my fridge inspire many of my food experiments (and dinner plans). Lately I’ve been on a labneh kick. And as much as I really like labneh on toast, sometimes you need to mix it up a bit. I’ve also been on a cake and cake decorating streak. And while I love the process of making fancy layer cakes, sometimes you want a dessert that takes less than 10 minutes and zero oven time. This, my friends, fits that bill.
This panna cotta is on the thicker, more pudding-y side. It’s also quite lightly sweetened, making it breakfast-appropriate in my book. You can dress this up or down as you like. I think panna cotta is improved with some contrasting textures, so I like adding toasted nuts, granola, or even some Momofuku cornflake crunch. Some fresh fruit is also excellent; or even just a drizzle of honey. Let your fridge inspire you.
Labneh Panna Cotta
Serves 4-6 | Adapted from A Brown Table
- 1 cup milk, low or full fat (I used soy)
- 80 g / 4 tablespoons honey + extra for drizzling, if desired
- 7 g / 1 packet gelatin
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
- 1 lb labneh, lightly whipped
- Place the milk in a small saucepan along with the honey and vanilla and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. While the milk is heating, sprinkle the gelatin in a small mixing bowl containing the cold water. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Once the milk has come to a simmer and the honey is dissolved, remove from heat and add the bloomed gelatin, stirring to combine.
- Pour the milk mixture into a large mixing bowl containing the labneh. Whisk to combine evenly, ensuring no lumps remain. Divide the mixture among serving glasses, or into a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours until firm.
I’ve been lactose-intolerant for 20 years. I’m not allergic to dairy; am fine with butter, yogurt, and eggs (whew!); and can handle small amounts of milk / cream baked into food. But I can’t drink a glass of milk or eat a normal ice cream cone without unfortunate consequences. Although there are lots of dairy alternatives nowadays, there are a couple of things I’d resigned to just living without — delicious melty cheese on pizza and cheesecake.
Lately, though, I’d been pondering the idea of using labneh — or yogurt cheese — as the basis for a cheesecake I could eat. Strained Greek yogurt can be a delicious accompaniment to cake, and even added to whipped cream for extra flavor; so it seemed like it was worth a shot.
Guys, this recipe is a game changer for me. I actually ate a whole piece of cheesecake without worrying about stomach issues and ENJOYED IT. It was smooth and creamy and subtly tangy. It also went over well with people that aren’t lactose intolerant — a good sign in my book. Oh, and as far as desserts go, it’s quite healthy!
I made this with homemade labneh (lowfat Greek yogurt strained for 24 hours – Liberte brand). I suspect it’ll work fine with store-bought labneh; though as it is the main ingredient you’ll want to go for a good quality one with a nice firm texture. I topped mine with salted caramel sauce, but imagine it would go well with any number of toppings (you could go fairly sweet if you prefer as the cheesecake itself is mildly sweet).
This recipe is quite easy, though for best results make it a day ahead so it has time to set overnight in the fridge. This improves the texture of the cake and makes for easy slicing.
Salted Caramel Labneh Cheesecake
Makes 1 six-inch cheesecake | Adapted from Hungry Couple NYC
For the base:
- Your favorite graham cracker crust (I used a half recipe of this one, swapping out toasted walnuts for the pistachios)
For the filling:
- 250 gr / 1 cup labneh (lowfat or full-fat; storebought or homemade), room temperature
- 60 gr / 1/4 cup lactose-free sour cream, full-fat, room temperature
- 1 t lemon zest
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1 t pure vanilla etract
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 50 gr / 1/4 cup cake flour
- 65 gr / 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- hot water, for the water bath
For the topping:
Salted caramel sauce, storebought or homemade
- Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 6-inch springform pan or cake ring with parchment paper.
- Prepare your graham cracker crust, pre-baking and cooling completely if needed.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare your pan for a water bath by wrapping your springform in a double layer of foil and placing in a large roasting pan (or a larger cake pan at least 1/3x bigger).
- Mix together labneh and sour cream on medium speed until smooth.
- Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined.
- Sift in cake flour and sugar and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Add egg and mix on low speed until just combined — do not overmix, but the batter should be smooth and uniform in color.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
- Transfer pan to oven and fill the larger pan with 1/2 – 1 inch of hot water.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until edges are firm but center is still a little jiggly. Turn off oven and allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from water bath and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once completely cool, refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before de-panning.
- Spread top with salted caramel sauce (or your topping of choice), slice, and serve!