Lebni is a creamy smooth and tangy cheese, like sour cream with soul. If there were such a thing as “the little white dress,” this would be the dessert equivalent: a pristine, delicately set ivory filling in a sweet buttery crust. Although it needs nothing else, it welcomes accessories such as ripe strawberries (served alongside or sliced and arranged on top à la française), or roasted figs or plums, or shards of caramelized walnuts or pine nuts. The only secret for success is not to overbake it, for, as with all custards and cheesecakes, the filling continues to cook after it emerges from the oven.
Equipment: A 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom
Note: I use Byblos brand lebni (kefir cheese), made with both milk and cream, so it is moderately rich (with 6 grams of fat per 30 grams of cheese).