September 15, 2010

sweet/tart: homemade frozen yogurt

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After a number of visits this summer to fro-zen-yo (which is a little too convenient to my work), I decided to give homemade frozen yogurt a try.  I always like the opportunity to control what goes into the things I eat, and yogurt is already such a wonderfully delicious, creamy substance, how hard could it be to add a couple  of ingredients and freeze it?  Not terribly difficult, as it turns out, but there are a number of different ways to do it and a lot of junk to sift through before you find something good.  Recipes call for everything from raw egg white to evaporated milk, corn syrup to cornstarch, heavy cream to gelatin.  But I wanted unadulterated, frozen yogurt.   All those additives seemed to defeat the purpose of making it at home.

I finally found a beautifully simple recipe on  101 Cookbooks, adapted from David Lebovitz's cookbook, The Perfect Scoop.   This particular recipe calls for yogurt, sugar, and optional vanilla.  More specifically, it requires either strained yogurt or Greek-style yogurt, the rationale being that straining off the whey (or using Greek yogurt which already has less liquid) yields a creamier, less icy product.  I made the recipe using strained yogurt, and while it was good, I didn’t like having to buy twice as much yogurt to make half as much frozen yogurt.  It was interesting trying to find a use for the leftover whey—because all that lean protein couldn’t just go to waste.  (I ended up freezing it in an ice cube tray and tossing a couple cubes into my smoothies.)

The next time around, I decided I’d try a non-strained frozen yogurt, and I was really happy with the result!  I didn’t find it much – if any – more icy than the previous batch, and it was a much quicker process with almost twice as big a yield.   I got the idea of adding alcohol to the yogurt when I tried David Lebovitz’s recipe for strawberry frozen yogurt.  The alcohol lowers the freezing temperature of the yogurt, so it doesn’t become rock solid in the freezer.

The following recipe is simple, slightly sweet, with just the right amount of tart. It's even better topped with fresh fruit!

sweet-tart frozen yogurt
printable recipe

32 oz. plain lowfat yogurt
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vodka*

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until well combined.  Return to refrigerator for one hour.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.  (For me, this meant about 30 minutes in the ice cream attachment of my stand mixer.)

When freshly churned, the yogurt will be quite soft.  It will freeze hard, but still scoopable.  To soften remove from freezer and keep at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

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* I used citrus flavored vodka because I didn’t want to “waste” my Ciroc on a mixture in which I’d hardly taste it.  The citrus added a subtle boost in the brightness of the final product.

**You may also add other flavors, such as vanilla extract. (I do not recommend peppermint extract in this recipe.)  For a fruit-based frozen yogurt, try David Lebovitz’s strawberry frozen yogurt.  I’d be willing to bet that other fruits (berries, peaches, etc.) would work, as well.  Next time I make it, I am going to try a higher yogurt-to-fruit ratio, but either way, it’s absolutely delicious!


jmc said...

Mmmm! This looks so good!

Brooke @ Parenting from Scratch said...

This does look good. Now that I'm armed with both a yogurt maker and an ice cream maker, I've been meaning to make some homemade frozen yogurt. Maybe now I'll have the inspiration to actually do it... I've just got to remember to get some farm-fresh milk this weekend!

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