Hung Yogurt Creme Brûlée is one of the tastiest desserts I have ever tried and pomegranate molasses adds easy elegance to it. It makes the creamiest Creme Brûlée, without cream and egg yolks. Hung yogurt is commonly used in the Levantine region and the Indian subcontinent where it is known by different names; Greek Yogurt, Yogurt Cheese, Labne and Chakka.

The process of making it is as simple as the name suggests, by hanging plain yogurt in muslin cloth till all the whey drips away and thick creamy curd is left behind. The longer it hangs, the thicker gets the consistency of the curd.

It’s creamy consistency makes Hung Yogurt a perfect, healthier and hassle free substitute for the creamy baked custard in Creme brûlée. In summer I love yogurt based dishes, specially the ones that require least cooking time. This rich and creamy base makes super indulgent desserts in very little time.

Pomegranate molasses is a rich, thick, intensely flavoured syrup which is used a lot in middle eastern cooking. I love it because it has a unique depth of flavour without being over sweet. It’s very easy to make at home. Usually it’s made by boiling down pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice but to save time and effort, the lazy me chucks in the pomegranate pearls into the pan with a little water, lemon juice and sugar. Pomegranate pearls release their juices and when it thickens up, I simply pass it through a sieve to separate the pits from the syrup.

You can use any other fruit jam or even chopped fresh fruits too for the base. Mangoes and strawberries pair really well with hung yogurt. But I personally really enjoy the depth and complexity of pomegranate molasses with the cool simplicity of hung yogurt. You can flavour the yogurt with lemon, almond, cinnamon or cardamom too.
Really it depends on personal preference.

Now the only thing you need to do to change this simple curd into a classic dessert is to give it a crunchy, caramel top of a perfect Creme Brûlée. We can’t put the yogurt under a broiler because that would spoil it’s texture. So the easiest way is to use a blow torch. But what to do if you don’t have one? Believe me that’s not an excuse to not try making Hung Yogurt Creme Brûlée. I don’t have one, therefore I use the old method of burning the sugar with a hot tablespoon.

This method is inspired by how they used to make Cambridge Burnt Cream (another version of Creme Brûlée) by using hot branding iron to impress the Trinity College logo on top of the dessert. The hot spoon works as the branding iron and I think this method makes even better caramel top than any blow torch and that too in seconds!
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.


5 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
a few drops vanilla essence
1 cup pomegranate pearls
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
8 teaspoons brown sugar

This Is What You Do:

Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth for 3-4 hours or till all the water drains out of it, leaving behind thick, creamy curds. Don’t forget to place a bowl under it to collect the whey that can be used in other recipes, like in kneading bread dough.

Or you can take the shortcut and buy Greek Yogurt for a quick fix.

Beat the curd smooth with honey and vanilla essence. Keep in the fridge while you ready the pomegranate molasses.

Add pomegranate pearls, sugar and lemon juice to a sauce pan. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook till the mixture boils down to the consistency of a syrup. Again, you can buy pomegranate molasses if it’s available where you live.

Take four small ramekins. Pour the pomegranate syrup through a sieve into the ramekins. Press with a spoon to squeeze out all the juice from the cooked pearls.

Top the syrup in the ramekins with cool hung yogurt. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle a thick layer of brown sugar on top of each ramekin to create the Creme brûlée (burnt cream) effect. Almost 2 teaspoons per ramekin.

Now either use a blow torch to caramelise the brown sugar on top or use the hot spoon method. Heat an old tablespoon directly on stove top till it’s burning hot. Smooth out the brown sugar layer with the back of the very hot spoon. The sugar will instantly caramelise. Wash the spoon after every use, wipe it dry, reheat it and use for the next ramekin. Don’t place once used spoon again in the fire or it will burn real bad.

Garnish the Hung Yogurt Creme Brûlée with pomegranate pearls and serve cool.

Serves 4

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