Embracing the Eastern goddess

Labneh and Rose Apple Jelly.

I was given this cookbook (Crazy Water Pickled Lemons) awhile ago. It’s a tantilizing mix of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African cooking. At the time I thought it was pretty but  thought a lot of the recipes were above me. All in the too hard basket, both with methods and ingredients. Then I revisited and woah mama! Of course I can cook out of this! Well I can at least hack a few recipes up and mama-fy them a bit.

First up Labneh. Labneh is a Lebanese Cream cheese, that has the taste of yoghurt but texture of cream cheese and couldn’t be easier to make. So easy you may just have to slap yourself  to believe, just how simple it really is.

First up make some yoghurt, or if you couldn’t be bothered…. buy it, a good natural one. Yoghurt is pretty easy to make though. Christine @ Slow Living Essentials has posted two great methods on making yoghurt. I do the quicker boil the kettle one. (and just a note, homemade yoghurt really is so much better than the bought stuff. No added ‘things’, it’s a LOT cheaper, its easy to make, and your cutting down on all those plastic tubs. Easy to flavour as you like.)

Back to the Labneh. Yoghurt made, and it’s time to to put it in a sieve and some muslin, and leave it for 12-24 hours. My book said for 24 hours, I did it for 12- depends on how quickly the liquid drains out of the yoghurt. Unwrap the muslin and voila! Labneh.

Next step in embracing my inner middle eastern goddess was Rose Apple Jelly. Sounding exquisite, and the colour divine, thursday night was jelly making night. (Naturally I was going to hack the recipe up and make it simpler.)

First roughly chop up your apples, seeds, core, skins and all. Cook it up until soft (approx 40 mins) then carefully drain off the liquid into another pot. Now the recipe did say to leave it for 12 hours in a jelly bag (or muslin) but I didn’t have that time so did it the quick way.

For every 600mls of liquid, add 375grams of sugar. Cook up along with juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 long strip of lemon peel. Cook until gels on small cold saucer. Add rose water to taste. (The original recipe asked for rose petals- with no access to lovely roses, I was going to have to skip that bit too. If by chance you would like to make your own rose water, Dana at  Fleur De Sel posted on making it.

Result? A really delicately flavoured, gorgeously coloured jelly. I hadn’t made jelly before and kept taking it up to the light and letting it sparkle.

Sparkle it did.

15 thoughts on “Embracing the Eastern goddess

    • Labneh, I think I will be making that once a week now- too easy! The Rose Apple Jelly is such a funny thing. Its so delicate in flavour and consistancy, I don’t usually make jellies. So its still a novelty for me- there may be a little bit of tilting it to the sunlight and watching it sparkle happening.
      Yoghurt, I have been making for about the last 6 months, and wish I had done it a lot sooner. Slowly converting a few friends to start making it as well. Your tutorials are great 🙂


      • In Greece if you visit with elderly folk they offer you jam on a saucer with teaspoons and a little glass of raki as a welcome to my house ritual. This one would fit that job perfectly!


      • Thats funny, as last Friday my grandparents came to visit and I offered them some of the jelly on a little saucer with teaspoons. I wanted to see if they liked it before I palmed it off to the them. I’m sure Grandpa would have gone a Raki shot as well.


  1. The jelly looks wonderful – I love the beautiful clear colours jellies produce. I couldn’t bear to put mine away in the cupboard when I made some. The addition of rose sounds lovely. My mother used to make “yogurt cheese” when I was young – now more sophistically know as labnah. We make our own kefir rather than yogurt and make cheese from that, but I have to say I prefer the taste of labnah.


    • Its still a novelty for me the jelly. If I go past the cupboard I like to tilt a jar, just a bit, amazed at the consistency. I was laying in bed last night thinking of other jellies to try and make, (I really should get out more…)


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  4. I am going to try this recipe now and hope it comes out good since im not sure if you meant teaspoons with tps also can you give me the US measurments for instance how many cups is 600 ml of flour and how many cups is 200 ml water thank you so much your food looks great!


    • Hi there. I’m not really sure of the conversions to US measurements, maybe a google search could help? Definitely meant teaspoons for the tps though for any recipes I put up. Sorry I couldn’t have been more help…


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