Everyone seems to be getting an Instant Pot these days and we are no exception. I wanted to try my hand at making homemade Greek yogurt in our Instant Pot, which I did. Except somewhere along the way I inadvertently made labneh–a Middle Eastern yogurt cheese.
Me: John, try the homemade Greek yogurt I made in the Instant Pot.
John: *tastes yogurt* *stares at yogurt* This is labneh! You inadvertently made labneh! *laughing*
Me: *blank stare*
John: *texting his entire family and still laughing* Carissa inadvernently made labneh!
Okay. So, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. It turns out I just strained the yogurt for too long. But it gave me the opportunity to learn about labneh, its history and how John’s mom makes her labneh.
What is labneh you say? Labneh has been around for thousands of years and its origins are from the Middle East, including Palestine which is where John’s parents were born. It is basically a soft cheese made out of strained yogurt. Thick, creamy and delicious. And it’s a probiotic.
So, here’s how I make Labneh in my Instant Pot.
*I start with a gallon of whole milk. Or goat’s milk if you’re more daring than me.
*Pour into a 6 qt Instant Pot.
*Press Saute for about 30 minutes. Use a thermometer and keep checking. You need to get the milk up to 180°F.
*Turn off the Instant Pot and let the milk cool until you reach 110-115°F.
*Then you add in 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt and stir it up.
*Put the lid on your Instant Pot, press Yogurt, change to 10 hours (8 hours is fine if that’s all you can–the longer you incubate it, the more tart it will be), and let it do its thing. Please note that if you have an Instant Pot Ultra, like we do, you’ll have to set it to “Yogurt” and select a temperature (i.e., low, med or high) before you can set the timer. In this case you’ll want to select “medium” and then enter your desired time. For labneh, I’d definitely recommend at least 10 hours, as the characteristic tartness is its hallmark.
*Once the yogurt is finished, add in 1 teaspoon of salt and stir. Now it’s time to put it in a cheesecloth bag.
*There are many different ways to strain your yogurt but we put it in a colander inside a bowl. We let it hang off the faucet for a couple of hours and then move it to the fridge. It needs to lose all of that whey which should take a couple of days.
*We store our labneh in jars if it’s going to be consumed within two weeks. Otherwise, the labneh can be rolled into balls and stored in a jar with olive oil. It can be preserved for much, much longer that way.
1 thought on “How to Make Labneh in an Instant Pot”
We supply our straining bags to Labneh producers and Yogurt kit companies. 15kg bags work best for home use. You can find them here https://www.precisioncut.org.uk/store
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