Yogurt Cheese

What’s a flavor cross between yogurt, chèvre and cream cheese — equally happy with savory or sweet flavors layered on top? Yogurt Cheese, of course!

Yogurt Cheese

I recently created this simple cheese and was delighted with the results. What inspired this was a quart of amazingly lovely local Jersey yogurt left over from a big brunch. With the addition of salt the yogurt begins to separate into little curds, releasing whey. All I had to do was strain the salted yogurt for several hours et voilá – Yogurt Cheese!

Yogurt Cheese on toasted levain with fresh peaches, walnuts, cinnamon and honey
Yogurt Cheese on toasted levain with EVOO, sea salt, and fresh herbs

This cheese will store for several weeks in the fridge. The cheese itself is tart and spreads easily even when cold. The taste is a richer mirror of the starting yogurt, and readily adaptable to a number of flavor profiles. I offer two easy, super tasty toast options to spark your imagination — one savory, one sweet. Enjoy!

damp towel, colander, bowl, salt and yogurt
yogurt, just after scooping onto the towel lined colander

Yogurt Cheese

makes about a pint of cheese

1 quart unsweetened, full fat yogurt*
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)

Prepare your equipment: Rinse a thin cotton dish towel with water, then wring it out. Choose a cloth that was washed without perfumed detergent and dried without dryer sheets. Layer the damp cloth into a fine sieve mesh colander.

Sprinkle the salt over the yogurt, and gently blend with a spatula. Pour the yogurt/salt mixture into the prepared towel-lined colander. You can tie the opposite corners of the cloth together and hang over the bowl if you don’t have a colander. Allow the yogurt to drain, in the fridge, for several hours – up to over night. Check to see that there is still drainage room after the first hour, as this is when most of the liquid will have drained from the yogurt. When the cheese is a thick, rich spreadable cheese remove it from the towel and store air tight in the fridge.

*I used full fat, delicious yogurt for my Yogurt Cheese. Any unsweetened, unflavored natural yogurt will work. Greek Yogurt may behave differently, as it is already a strained product.

Yogurt Cheese – sweet suggestion: Toast a slice of levain. Spread yogurt cheese generously on the toast, then layer on slices of fresh peach, a sprinkle of walnuts, a dusting of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Magic!

Yogurt Cheese – savory suggestion: Toast a slice of levain. Spread yogurt cheese generously on the toast, then scatter with sea salt, fresh herbs and a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil. Mmmmm!

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