This recipe seems to be dividing opinion. While some (myself included) really like this dessert, others just don’t understand the appeal. It made me a little unsure as to whether I should post the recipe or not, but I decided that different people like different things and that’s what’s so great about food – everyone can choose their favourites. The filling in this yoghurt tart is very much like that of a cheesecake, but instead of using cream cheese and a whole load of sugar, I used strained yoghurt and honey. Flavoured with orange zest and juice, encased in a deliciously flaky, coconut oil crust and topped with soft honeyed oranges, this is a fresh and I think delicious recipe that is definitely worth a go. It’s also in season at the moment which scores points with me. Perhaps you could halve the quantities and see what you think… it could become a new favourite!
For the pastry
- 150g spelt flour, or your preferred alternative
- 75g coconut oil, solid
- 1 tbsp sugar*
- 5-7 tbsp ice cold water
*Simply remove the sugar if serving a savoury dish
For the filling
- 450-500g natural, full-fat yoghurt – makes around 300g yoghurt cheese
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 75g honey or agave
- Zest and juice of two oranges
- Sprig of rosemary, finely chopped (optional) plus extra to garnish
For the topping
- 300ml cloudy apple juice
- 50g honey
- 2 oranges, sliced into rounds
Before you start: in order to ensure the filling sets in the tart you need to strain the natural yoghurt. This removes the liquid and leaves what is known as yoghurt cheese, or in some cultures, labneh. To do this, place some cheesecloth, muslin or a large coffee filter into a sieve and rest the sieve on top of a large mixing bowl. Tip the yoghurt into the cheesecloth and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours, allowing the liquid to drain out of the yoghurt. The longer you leave it the thicker and creamier the result – it’s often easier to leave overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan) and grease a 7-9 inch pastry tin with a little oil or butter.
- To make the pastry, tip the flour and sugar into a bowl and combine. Add the coconut oil and using your fingers, rub the flour and oil together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Slowly start adding the water in tablespoons, continuing to stir the mixture with your hands until each tablespoon of water is combined. When a dough starts to form, bring all the mixture together in your hands and tip onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough ever so slightly until it’s pliable enough to roll out. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to allow the oil to solidify.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry into a large circle about 5mm thick, checking to ensure it’s not sticking to the work surface. The pastry needs to be a couple of inches wider than your tart tin to ensure it will fold into the creases.
- Lie the pastry on the top of the tin and using your knuckles, gently press down round the edges, working the dough into each crease of the tin and making sure you don’t create any holes in the base of the tart. Prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork, then line with some baking paper and pour a jar of baking beans into the tin. You can use a handful of rice instead if you don’t have any baking beans.
- Cook for 15 minutes in a preheated oven until the edges start to brown. Then remove the baking beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- While the pastry is cooking, make the filling. Add the eggs, honey, rosemary, orange juice and half the zest to a bowl and whisk. Tip in 300g of the yoghurt cheese and stir gently until fully combined.
- Once the pastry has cooled slightly, pour the filling into the tart tin and spread evenly with a spoon or spatula. Pop the tart into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the outside is set and the centre wobbles slightly. You don’t want to overcook this so it’s best to check after 10 minutes and continue to check every couple of minutes after that. Once cooked, remove from the oven to cool.
- As the tart cools, pour the apple juice and honey into a large saucepan and heat until bubbling gently. Add the orange slices and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the rind has softened. Remove from the orange slices from the pan and place onto a plate to cool.
- Just before serving, place the orange slices onto the top of the tart and add a few sprigs of rosemary if desired.
The tart will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. It is best to remove from the fridge 20 minutes or so before serving to allow the tart to reach room temperature.