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    Soft cheese with apricots, orange blossom honey and pistachios

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    Soft cheese with apricots, orange blossom honey and pistachios

    This is a great finale to a Middle Eastern meal. You could serve it with just Greek yogurt – but labneh (drained yogurt cheese) is firmer. The cheesecloth it’s wrapped in leaves attractive markings on its surface.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus overnight draining
    • Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes plus cooling and chilling
    • Total time: 30 minutes to 35 minutes 35 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 4 tbsp Icing sugar
    • 500g Greek yoghurt
    • 500ml Dry white wine
    • 1 Lemon, juice and 2 strips of rind
    • 200g Caster sugar
    • 5 tbsp Orange blossom honey
    • 18 Apricots, halved and stoned
    • 1 tbsp Orange flower water
    • 2 tbsp Chopped pistachies or toasted flaked almonds


    1. For the labneh, add the icing sugar to the yogurt and put in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Set this over a bowl. Let it drain for 24 hours, picking up the ‘bag’ occasionally and giving it a squeeze.
    2. Put the wine (or 500ml water), lemon rind and juice, sugar and honey into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring now and then to help absorb. Turn down to a simmer and add the apricots to poach. Cook until the fruit yields to the point of a knife.
    3. When the fruit is poached, remove it with a slotted spoon and boil the poaching syrup until reduced by a third. Remove the rind, then set the syrup aside to cool. Once it’s at room temperature, add the orange flower water and pour over the fruit. Chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
    4. Peel the cheesecloth from the labneh and serve, whole or torn into wedges, with the apricots spooned around it. Drizzle the labneh with a little more of the honey and scatter with the nuts.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This is an ideal match for this dish, with the fragrant orange blossom and muscat aromas followed by honeyed apricots, ripe oranges and lime flavours on the palate. Brown Brothers Special Late-Harvested Orange Muscat & Flora 2008 Victoria, Australia. Bin 95739; £6.49.


    Average user rating

    5 stars