Labne is like the Lebanese cream cheese! It’s delicious with Lebanese olives and spread on some pita bread. I love eating it as a side in the morning with fried eggs, yum! Labne can be found premade in some grocery stores and in most International/Middle Eastern grocery stores. There is also a way to make it yourself, and we have the recipe for it here!
Preparing homemade Labne is a two-day process (or longer) and you will need some items (a towel and blanket) that you would not normally use for preparing food. Be sure to look through instructions before beginning your preparation to plan accordingly. Good luck!
1 gallon of milk
1/2 cup (plain store purchased) yogurt
Towel (both should be large enough to wrap around a large bowl)
*This will make a fairly good amount and lasts up to 2 weeks homemade. If you want to make less, just use half of the amounts of ingredients
1. Pour gallon of milk into a pot and bring milk to a boil on medium heat for around 25 minutes (time varies depending on stove. Be sure to watch over your milk because when it starts to boil it will rise and overflow).
2. Once the milk begins to rise, turn your stove off and move your pot to another burner to cool off and let it cool for around 30 minutes (milk must be at a temperature of 140 degrees). *The old-fashioned way of determining when your milk was cool enough was that you would be able to comfortably stick your pinky finger in it for 10 seconds
3. Pour milk into a large container that can go in the fridge (preferably glass or stainless that has a top)
4. In a measuring cup, add one cup of yogurt and 3 or 4 spoons of your warm milk to mix together, then add back into your new bowl. Stir gently.
5. Set up an area (where it can be left for a long period) with your blanket and towel. Spread out your blanket over this area and then your towel over the blanket. Then place the container on top of your layer and wrap it with your towel and then the blanket. Leave the container wrapped for 6 hours untouched.
6. After 6 hours, remove and put in fridge until next day or when you have time within 3 to 4 days to finish making your labne (right now this is just plain yogurt and is just as good as the store bought)
7. To continue to make labne: place a colander in the sink with the sack draped into it (Eva used a flour sack) and pour the quantity of labne that you want into a sack and tie the sack with a band if it doesn’t already have a string tie.
8. The goal is to let yogurt drain for at least a couple of hours after. We kept it in the colander and held it over a bowl using tongs to keep it standing. This is an improvisation so feel free to do whatever you can to keep the sack draining. If you have a cabinet with a door knob directly above your sink – you can hook the sack on the knob and let it drain.
9. Empty labne into desired container to refrigerate (again preferably glass or stainless steel that has a top).
10. When serving, sprinkle salt, a dash of pepper and drizzle olive oil (if desired). You can also add some toum to it as a mezza (appetizer) at dinner to serve with pita or cut up veggies.
Source: Eva’s Lebanese Cooking