Monday, May 14, 2007

The copycat rides again . . .
It should be no surprise to my readers that I'm an unapologetic member of the Heidi Swanson fan club. If Heidi proposes a technique or ingredient that appeals to me, be sure, I'll be right behind her, trying it out or performing my own riff. No surprise then that her recent posting of David Lebovitz's frozen yogurt recipe from his new book, The Super Scoop, was high on my list of must do's!

Heidi made vanilla and so did I—the first batch. It was so good, I had to have more and of course, I had to add my own little fillip. With fresh strawberries available at unheard of low prices, $1.67 for a quart in the market, why pick your own? And I love strawberry ice cream but I've not been happy with commercial frozen ice cream or frozen yogurt laced with big hard rock-like berries. To offset that, I prepared a generous cup of strawberries by giving them a few whirls in my mini food processor and added a couple of teaspoons of Polaner's all fruit strawberry jelly. This added some juicy body to the crushed berries and sweetened them naturally at the same time. I mixed the crushed berries with the balance of the washed, hulled berries that had been sliced.

I followed Heidi/David's instructions for allowing the organic, full cream, plain yogurt to drain overnight in the fridge, then added a teaspoon of vanilla and a half cup of sugar. I let the vanilla base process in the ice cream maker until it was almost finished (about 15 - 17 minutes) then I began adding the sliced berries and their juice, a tablespoon at a time, until I liked the ratio. I was looking for a light pink color with well balanced flecks of berries. This step becomes a matter of preference: add more; add fewer.

Ice cream, sorbet, or Italian ice made in these convenient electric appliances, is done when it reaches a stage very similar to soft serve ice cream. It continues to harden when placed in the freezer, and is just right for making picture perfect scoops after about 3 - 4 hours. Then it tends to get very hard. No mystery synthetic chemical stabilizers to keep it soft. A very reliable method of preventing it from turning into an iceberg is to add a little alcohol at the very end of the mixing. Vodka is best as it has no flavor to conflict with the ingredients or you can use a liquor to complement the flavor. I had no vodka on hand, but I did have some triple sec. I mixed in two generous tablespoons just as the frozen yogurt finished setting up. If the alcohol is added too soon, it will prevent it from freezing properly in the ice cream maker. There was no noticeable orange taste in the finished strawberry yogurt.

If you have an electric ice cream maker, I'd certainly encourage you to try your hand at frozen yogurt. What pleases me most about this is the purity of ingredients. This is nothing more than organic whole milk yogurt with a little flavoring and a little sugar. Read the labels on the commercial products. They sure have to use a lot of strange stuff to produce the end result, don't they?

Till next time . . . keep on cooking.


Freya and Paul said...

That looks sooo good! I could just scoop up a spoonful (and not a teaspoonful) right now and eat it!

Freya and Paul said...

Hi Joyce - just to let you know, because Blogger have been doing funny updates, you will have to set each post that you do (for now anyway) to accept Feedbacks, otherwise people can't leave them (check the delicious lasagne post of yours above!). This is at the bottom of the Edit Post Page. Hopefully they will sort out this glitch soon!