Sometimes I find myself wishing that I was suntanned in the south of France, wearing lightweight cotton dresses, bicycling to farmer’s markets in high heels, and eating copious amounts of brie and baguettes. I’d plant a little organic garden, wear red lipstick to set off my freckles, read twelve books a week, and stay effortlessly thin. I’d drink a glass of wine every night with Fritz under the stars, and not worry about how many calories are in seafood cooked in butter and heavy cream.
But alas, I find myself instead in Long Island, with an unruly cat, wearing polyester dresses because they have little giraffes on them, nary a red lipstick to be found, and definitely counting the calories in my dinners and desserts. I’m tempted to always skip the cheese and to buy non-fat frozen yogurt made with chemical stabilizers to make it taste like it’s made with full-fat ingredients so I can eat a little more with less guilt.
Well, guess what.
I’ve decided to take a page out of the book of my suntanned-in-the-south-of-France self, and make some frozen yogurt the real way–using full fat yogurt and a giant pile of fresh strawberries (not to mention a little liquor and sugar to sweeten the deal).
The more fat in the yogurt, the less icy it will be when it freezes. Add some vanilla extract and triple sec, and the alcohol content also keeps the finished product from freezing like a solid block of ice. Even though you should still take it out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before you want to scoop it, the yogurt has a decidedly creamy feel, not an icy one.
I also ate this with some peaches grilled in honey last night at a friend’s house, and I’m pretty sure I heard angels.
Note! If using an ice cream maker, the bowl has to be frozen ahead of time. I keep my ice cream maker bowl in the freezer so any last-minute ice cream cravings can be satisfied immediately.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
- 2-3 pints strawberries, washed and sliced (size doesn’t matter much!)
- 1/2 C sugar
- 3/4 C triple sec
- 24 oz whole milk yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Milk European Style, but I’m sure a Greek yogurt would work really well, too!)
- 1-2 T vanilla extract
This is a pretty basic recipe. Combine the strawberries, triple sec, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook ’em for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened a lot–my plan here was to get rid of most of the water in the strawberries so they wouldn’t freeze like a rock and break my teeth. Let the mixture cool.
Meanwhile, mix the vanilla extract and yogurt together. Once the strawberry mixture has cooled (and you’ve eaten quite a few spoonfuls), finally the twain shall meet.
I really just wanted to say twain.
Combine the two and stick ’em in the bowl of an ice cream maker for 15-20 minutes until nicely churned. Hello, delicious.
I ate a heck of a lot of this, and then scooped the remaining ice cream into a plastic Tupperware container to freeze for later. As I said before, it still freezes pretty solidly, so take it out and let it sit 10-15 minutes to soften before scooping.
Definitely a noticeably creamier texture than homemade nonfat frozen vanilla yogurt (which did have vanilla–alcohol!). And cooking the strawberries gave the yogurt an almost caramelized sugar taste…which obviously is a good thing.
And as always–constant vigilance! Some bad animals around these parts.
Also, you may recognize this frozen yogurt as the new header of the blog–thought it was time for a more summery makeover. What do you think?