Summer is almost here, and as the temperature rises, so does my desire to make ice cream. Because ice cream should not become an every day food – I have a hard time controlling myself in its presence – I’ve started making frozen yogurt instead. It’s amazingly simple, requires no making custard from scratch, and the result is as delicious as ice cream. The kids don’t notice the difference, and the fat content is cut by more than half. If you’re a fan of fro-yo-to-go, you’ll be thrilled by how easy it is to make mind-blowing frozen yogurt at home.
The secret, I’ve learned, to a really rich, creamy fro-yo is to strain it first. I learned this from Heidi, who learned it from David, who is the king of homemade ice cream. If you have good-quality, thick yogurt, perhaps a Greek yogurt you really like, you need only scrape it into your ice cream machine and press the button, but if you want to make that extra effort, it really is worth it.
If you want to go the straining route, start with plain yogurt – scrape it into a fine sieve that has been lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and set over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight – the resulting liquid in the bottom of the bowl can be used in muffin or pancake batter.
Making frozen yogurt, by the way, is a great kitchen activity to involve the kids in.
The Ultimate Frozen Yogurt
With thanks to Heidi and David!
3 cups strained or thick Greek yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup sweetened mashed or pureed berries (optional)
In a bowl, stir together the strained yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Pop it in the fridge to chill if it isn’t already. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you like, add whole, mashed or pureed berries through the feed tube as the mixture starts to get thick.
Makes about 1 quart.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/dulezidar