I had planned on mixing my labneh with some chives, garlic and green onions for a bagel spread, but I had a couple of very ripe bananas and was curious how the labneh would hold up in a cheesecake.
Years ago I experimented with tofu cheesecakes sweetened with bananas. They weren't bad, but they did taste a bit like the tofu, which is unexpected if you don't know what went into the cheesecake beforehand. The labneh is tarter than cream cheese, but that's not as noticeable when combined with the bananas and honey. If anything, I like a slight tartness in my desserts.
What makes this cheesecake wonderful is the taste and creamy texture is very similar to a conventional cheesecake made with cream cheese... but, the amount of fat in it is considerably lower.
The graham crust is kind of crumbly in this recipe because I used less butter. I couldn't bring myself to add more, but perhaps 1 tablespoon of honey rather than the brown sugar might have made a firmer crust. I'll try that the next time. The crumbly crust was fine.. it certainly wasn't a deal breaker.
Preheat the oven to 400°F
3/4 cup graham crumbs
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp butter
Combine the crumbs, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor. The mixture will be on the dry side because of the lower amount of butter.
Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of a 7" spring-form. Bake for about 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and turn down temperature to 220°F.
2 ripe bananas, sliced
8-9 oz labneh (I used the entire amount from that recipe)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1-2 tbsp honey, to taste
3/4 cup greek style honey vanilla yogurt, room temperature
2 tbsp orange or apple juice
2 large eggs, room temperature
*If you have a flat paddle for your mixer, use that because it tends to aerate the mixture less. Less air means less of a chance for a cracked surface.
In a large bowl beat the banana for a minute or two until the slices begin to break up. Add the labneh and beat for for about 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch, honey, yogurt and juice and beat until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Scrape down the sides.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat only long enough until they are combined, being careful not to over beat. Again scrape down the sides.
Pour the mixture into the spring-form, and level the surface with the back of a spoon. *Bake for 1 hr and 35min. Turn off the heat and allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the oven; about 4 hours. Don't open the oven.
*I bake this is in a Breville counter-top convection oven. This might affect the baking and cooling times somewhat compared to a standard oven which is larger and holds more heat.
Cool the cake on a cake rack. Run a knife carefully around the edge of the cheesecake (if necessary) before removing the collar of the spring-form.
This cake slices best when it's cool.