Saturday, 5 January 2013

Lemon Yogurt Bars

These really taste like cheesecake, but I put more yogurt than cream cheese in it so it would probably be more appropriate to call it "yogurt bars". Besides, it sounds more austere than "cheesecake bars". Instead of the traditional graham crackers crust, I make a hearty buckwheat crust. The yogurt I use is 2% plain greek yogurt, and the cheeses I used were light ricotta and light cream cheese. I know it seems like I'm using light everything, but there's no shortage of flavour. Even my mom, who thinks desserts have to be full fat to taste good, couldn't tell I used light ingredients. Try them for yourselves.

The Recipe:
  • 1 cup dark buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 – 6 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Yogurt layer:
  • 1 cup 2% plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of one lemon
Stir together buckwheat flour, soy flour, wheat bran, and salt. Rub in butter until there are no visible chunks of butter left. Don't worry about keeping it cold because we aren't making flaky pastry; we are only trying to distribute the butter evenly, and I find it easier to do it this way rather than melting it. Add water as needed until it forms a crumbly mixture. If you squeeze a handful of dough together, it should stick together like wet sand. Press into a lined 9 inch (22.9 cm) square tin and bake in a 350 F (175 C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

For the yogurt layer, simply stir all ingredients together, pour onto the cooled, baked crust, and bake at 325 F (~165 C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the yogurt layer has just set. Cool to room temperature and chill before slicing into bars. 

Note: to prevent the crust from becoming soggy, I poured about 1/4 of the yogurt mixture over the crust, spread it in a thin, even layer, and baked it for about 5 minutes before pouring the rest over the crust. 

Lemon yogurt filling

Buckwheat crust, before baking

Buckwheat crust, after baking

Baked and cooled lemon square – no cracks! :D

We sliced it into smaller pieces this time to serve as finger food

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