Today we’re going to tackle a relatively simple and surprisingly healthy dessert: strawberry frozen yogurt made from scratch. This post is based on David Lebovitz’s so I can’t claim credit for this fantastic recipe, though something tells me he would not approve of my use of fat-free yogurt.
The most important thing here is to make sure you’re using fresh strawberries…it’s the main ingredient, so don’t skimp out! Let’s take a look at our ingredients:
- 1 pound of fresh strawberries
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of low-fat of fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
If you were paying close attention to that photo you probably noticed something that didn’t belong: blueberries. I had originally intended to make 2 flavors of frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, after a long day of work I’m feeling a bit drained and one flavor was all I could manage. But it’s a tasty batch, so I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Our first step is to slice the strawberries. Make sure to create thin slices, as this will help with both the absorption of the sugar and with blending the ingredients.
Once the strawberries are sliced, transfer them to a plastic or glass bowl with a top. If you don’t have one of these, you can use a standard bowl and plastic wrap. Pour in the granulated sugar and mix the strawberries well. I typically cover the bowl with the top and toss the strawberries and sugar by shaking back and forth. At the end, the strawberries should be well coated with sugar.
Next let the mixture stand at room temperature for around 2 hours. This allows the strawberries to begin to break down and dissolve the sugar into a sweet mixture resembling a strawberry glaze. During the 2 hours, stir occasionally to make sure everything is well mixed and dissolves evenly.
Now we need to extract our lemon juice. The tartness of the lemon will help to balance out the extremely sweet mixture of strawberries and sugar. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small cup. Now pour the juice through a small strainer to remove the seeds, as you don’t want those making their way into the final product.
At this point we will transfer all the ingredients (including the strawberries and their juice) to the blender. Start at the lowest setting and progressively increase until you have a smooth mixture. If you need to, you can remove the top of the blender and push down any strawberries that have floated to the top.
If you want a very smooth final result you can run the mixture through a strainer to remove any seeds or bits of strawberry left in the blender. I tend to skip this step, as I like the little imperfections in my frozen yogurt.
Now pour the mixture into a large bowl and place in the freezer (covered) for around 45 minutes. Once it has chilled sufficiently you have two options. If you have an ice cream maker, follow those directions and you will get a silky smooth result. For the rest of us, were doing it by hand.
After the 45 minutes is up, remove the bowl and stir the mixture until it starts to become smooth. Place it back in the freezer. At 30 minute intervals, you will repeat these steps until the mixture has a thick consistency of frozen yogurt. Feel free to taste your results at any interval and keep going until you are happy with the result. Usually this takes no more that two to two and a half hours). It is important to stir the mixture as it freezes (which is done for you in an ice cream maker) in order to keep ice crystals from forming and make sure the end result is creamy and smooth.
Once it has reached the desired consistency, serve immediately. If you have to, you can store your frozen yogurt in the freezer until needed, just be sure to allow it 10 to 15 minutes to soften up before serving. You can serve your frozen yogurt by itself or with fresh homemade whipped cream… either way this will taste fantastic!