Monday, June 29, 2009
STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT
When A and I took our first taste of this frozen yogurt after churning it in the ice cream maker, we both looked at each other and said, “Strawberry Julius.” My version may be a little fresher, but it took me right back to the treat I’d always order at mall staple Orange Julius when I was a kid, my reward for behaving myself after what then seemed like an interminable session of shopping with my mother. I gather from its Web site that Orange Julius has now become just another Jamba Juice/Robek’s clone, offering a wide variety of fruit smoothies with names like “Strawberry Xtreme” and “Tropical Tango,” but back then there were just two flavors, orange and strawberry, and you could get a raw egg blended in if you wanted to. (Ah, the ’80s, when we didn’t care about food safety, didn’t wear bike helmets, and rode in the back of hatchback cars without seat belts!)
Nostalgia aside, this is another great recipe from David Lebovitz (I got it from A Perfect Scoop, but you can also find a version on his blog)—pretty similar to the blueberry fro-yo I made a couple of weeks ago, only you macerate the strawberries with the sugar and alcohol to get the juices going, and you don’t have to press the mixture through a sieve (it’s an option, but I like the little crunch of strawberry seeds). It didn’t taste quite so magically revelatory to me as the blueberry one did, but it was still insanely delicious enough to shatter all my expectations about what frozen yogurt should be, and you can’t beat that brilliant shade of pink. Also, now that we finally have hot weather like the rest of the country, I can testify that this (fairly) light frozen treat is just about the best refreshment I can think of after a stroll on a warm summer night. Considering how plentiful and beautiful Southern California strawberries are, it’s a recipe I’ll make again and again.
1 pound (450g) strawberries, rinsed and hulled
⅔ cup (130g) sugar
2 teaspoons vodka or kirsch (optional, but recommended; I used kirsch)
1 cup (240g) plain whole-milk yogurt (I recommend Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Slice the strawberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and vodka or kirsch (if using) until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring every so often.
2. Transfer the strawberries and their juice to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt and lemon juice. Pulse the machine until the mixture is almost smooth. If you wish, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
3. Chill for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Time: 3 hours 15 minutes, mostly hands-off, plus processing time
Yield: 1 quart (6-8 servings)
Leftover potential: Good