Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The New Fro Yo

I consider myself pretty good at making ice cream. Homemade frozen yogurt, on the other hand, has thus far eluded me. I tried it a few times last year and it was watery, icy and too sweet, consisting of lowfat plain yogurt, sugar and not much else. Thanks to a great article in June's Food & Wine, I now know better.

The article features recipes from artisanal ice cream maker Jeni Britton, who runs three ice cream parlors in Columbus, Ohio. Refreshingly, Jeni does not view frozen yogurt as a "healthy" alternative to ice cream. Use whole milk yogurt, she says (I went with Fage's "Total Classic" Greek yogurt). Jeni also adds a touch of unflavored gelatin to the yogurt, which gives the finished product an airy, whipped texture. (Although some purists take issue with her use of "unnecessary ingredients.") And a half-cup of heavy cream doesn't hurt things, either.

I made Jeni's Strawberry Frozen Yogurt last week, and it was a hit: sour, tangy, gorgeously pink. We were so anxious to eat it that we didn't even let it freeze completely (hence the lumpy photo). Fork, God love him, said it was "better than Pinkberry." Granted, he is not such a Pinkberry fan, but I get his point: this fro yo is GOOD, yo.--S

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

2 T fresh lemon juice plus 1 t finely grated lemon zest
One 1/4-ounce package unflavored powdered gelatin
12 ounces strawberries, hulled
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c light corn syrup
2 c plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 c heavy cream

1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the strawberries until smooth; you should have about 1 cup of strawberry puree.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the strawberry puree with the sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves completely, about 1 minute. Remove the strawberry mixture from the heat and stir in the lemon gelatin until it melts.
4. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the lemon zest and the hot strawberry puree. Stir in the heavy cream. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the strawberry yogurt is cold, about 20 minutes.
Pour the strawberry yogurt into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Pack the frozen yogurt into a plastic container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the frozen yogurt and close with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine

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