A few weeks ago, I posted the following on my Facebook page:
Making ice cream…
… and it’s gonna be GOOD!
It took me a while to post about it, because… well, it’s summer, the sun is shining, I’ve been going on picnics with my man (henceforth referred to as the Rocking Rebel), been to barbecue’s with my family and only just returned from a sailing trip through Friesland.
Life is good!
Anyway, back to the ice cream everyone has so been looking forward to.
I have to say, creating this recipe wasn’t very easy. Sure, I had made ice cream before. I already posted about an Eggless Maple and Walnut Ice Cream ages ago and one of the first recipes I ever tried as a kid was a vanilla frozen yogurt. I’m sad to say the recipe got lost over the years, because it was incredible! (If anyone has an old box of Okki Magazines in the attic, please send me a message on Facebook!)
When I first attempted to make this frozen yogurt, I just started by throwing a few basic things together. But hey, frozen yogurt isn’t anything like regular ice cream, so when I started freezing the mixture in a freeze-proof container (aka: without an ice cream maker), I just couldn’t keep it from forming large, unpleasant ice crystals.
So after a bit of Googling I stumbled upon a book of the great David Lebovitz, ‘The Perfect Scoop’. I’ve always loved his blog, and his Salted Butter and Caramel Ice Cream and Ginger Crunch bars have been on my to-make-list for quite some time now, but somehow I’ve never gotten round to actually buying his book. Blame it on me being a poor student. Luckily, parts of his book can be viewed on Amazon, so I picked up a lot of very useful tips there.
(I still would like to have a copy of the book though… How long till my birthday…??)
Anyway, what I learned is that the texture of the finished product depends on the fat and sugar content of the mixture. Because sugar and fat don’t freeze, they ensure a smooth and velvety ice cream texture. As frozen yogurt generally contains less fat than regular ice cream, this means that froyo is prone to form large ice crystals. This also means that you can’t just throw things together and expect it to work, like I did…
Once I understood the principles of making a smooth ice cream, I adjusted my ingredients and managed to come up with a delicious, summery recipe!
With a little help of David of course…
I also picked up a little technique to make strawberry puree, which I’m really happy with since cooking strawberries always affects their flavor, and this technique keeps the strawberry flavor fresh and vibrant. Just start by quartering some strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cover, and leave to sit on the counter for about an hour.
After an hour, the strawberries will have turned into chunky strawberry soup.
Like I said, no cooking required!
Transfer the strawberries and the juice to a mixing bowl and blitz into a smooth puree. I used a stick blender, which probably works best in this recipe, as it doesn’t yield that much puree and in my experience food processors are usually not quite efficient when used to blitz up smaller quantities of ingredients.
If you don’t have a stick blender, you could easily press the strawberries and the juice through a sieve, using the back of a spoon. Because the strawberries have softened, I doubt any elbow grease is required…
Next, stir the gorgeous strawberry puree through a mixture of cream and yogurt. I’ve added a splash of cream to this recipe to bring the fat content up. Like I said, it is the fat in ice cream (or froyo) that ensures a velvety smooth texture. By adding a little splash of cream, my enriched froyo mixture contained three times as much fat as froyo’s which are made with just whole milk yogurt.
Which basically means mine’s three times as delicious!
I mean, look at it! Doesn’t that look good already?
To make it even more glorious, stir in a few teaspoons of raspberry eau de vie, strawberry (or raspberry) liquor, vodka or kirsch. This too helps in creating a smooth, velvety froyo, because the alcohol, which doesn’t freeze either, prevents any large ice crystals from forming. On top of that, it gives the froyo more depth of flavor.
Win-win situation, if you ask me…
Anyway, I just found out today that there is another heat wave heading towards the Netherlands, so I’ve got a new batch of this stuff in the freezer already!
Celebrate summer everyone!
And enjoy the froyo!
- 350g (or 11 ounces) fresh strawberries
- 100g (or ½ cup) granulated sugar
- 135ml (or ½ cup + 1 tablespoon) full-fat yogurt
- 45ml (or 3 tablespoons) whipping cream
- 3 teaspoons raspberry eau de vie (optional)
- Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries. Place them on a plate and sprinkle evenly with the sugar. Cover with an upside-down bowl or plastic wrap and leave to macerate for about an hour, until the sugar has dissolved and the softened strawberries are swimming in a pool of their own sugary juices.
- Using a blender or a food processor, blitz the strawberries and the juice to a smooth puree. A stick blender probably works best, as this recipe yields quite a small amount of strawberry puree. Mix the cream with the yogurt and fold in the strawberry puree with a rubber spatula. Stir in the eau de vie.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge for an hour, then churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freeze-proof container, cover with a lid, and place in the freezer until ready to use.
- Twenty minutes before serving, take the froyo out of the freezer and allow to soften for twenty minutes in the fridge or on the counter.