I came up with my yogurt squares recipe almost four years ago (original post can be found HERE), and since then it became one of my favorite go-to recipes.
Created as a lighter alternative for cheese cake, it is made with yogurt and cornstarch as the main ingredients, making it also gluten free. It is very easy to prepare and makes for a great dessert anytime.
Over time, I’ve made quite a few variations of the original recipe, using other dried fruits instead of the dried apricots, and different nuts instead of the pistachios on top.
Lately, I’ve decided to experiment with using fresh fruits instead of the dried ones. The fresh fruits worked so well with the yogurt, that it got me motivated to try more combinations. The result was the light summery, juicy dessert I was looking for: tangy, refreshing and not overly sweet. The following photos show some of these variations. Try them, or create your own version, and enjoy.
* Make sure to use plain thick yogurt, without any stabilizers or other additives.
* For a version with tapioca flour and berries topping, click HERE.
Original recipe: (Posted HERE)
Makes: 20 small squares
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours, preferably overnight
10 dried apricots (see variations below for other suggestions)
½ cup corn starch
3 XL eggs
17.6 oz (500 grams) thick yogurt 2% fat minimum (See notes. I used Fage)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla paste
2/3 cup sugar
For the sour cream layer:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup roughly chopped raw pistachios
1. Preheat the oven to 320F (160C). Line a 7”x11” (18cm x 28cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Cut the apricots into small cubes (easier with scissors), place in a small bowl, add 1 Tbs of the cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and mix. Add the sugar and corn starch and mix until smooth. Add the dried apricots and mix again. Transfer the mixture into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix the sour cream with the sugar in a small bowl.
5. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cake. Scatter the pistachios over and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Place the cake over a rack and bring to room temperature, before placing it in the fridge. When the cake is chilled, cover it with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, before cutting.
7. To cut: holding the baking paper, transfer the cake to a large cutting board. With a large, sharp knife, cut into 20 squares. The squares will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week. The versions with fresh fruits will keep for 3-4 days.
Yogurt Squares with Cherries and Lime
Instead of the dried apricots, mix 15 cherries, pitted and cut small, with 1 Tbs cornstarch. Use same amounts of lime juice and zest instead of the lemon juice and zest. Scatter more lime zest on top instead of the pistachios.