Can we talk about frozen yogurt for a minute? I consider myself a frozen yogurt fan, and I definitely appreciate all of the shops that have popped up in recent years where you can try seven different flavors in one cup and choose from dozens of toppings (who would’ve ever guessed that Fruity Pebbles are actually super delish mixed into froyo?). But if I’m being totally honest, I will take a scoop of ice cream over frozen yogurt any day.
Unless it’s Jeni’s lemon frozen yogurt.
Because I do so much baking for the holidays and because it’s usually too cold to think about frozen treats, my ice cream maker gets stashed away during the winter months. But after picking up a copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, which I happened to find on sale(!) while I was shopping for Christmas gifts back in December, I threw my ice cream machine canister back in the freezer. The book delves into the science of ice cream making and talks a lot about chemistry and ingredients and technique; it will totally change the way you approach making ice cream at home. I couldn’t wait to get started. There were so many flavors I wanted to try, but lemon frozen yogurt was the first to catch my eye.
Oh. my. lord. I think this is probably the best thing that I have ever made in my ice cream machine. This is nothing like the stuff that comes out of a dispenser all soft and swirly. This is good, old fashioned frozen yogurt, similar to ice cream in texture, but with that tang that can only be achieved by using real yogurt. I’m partial to anything lemon, and this lemon froyo definitely delivers – bright and lemony and fragrant. It somehow manages to be ultra creamy and light without being fluffy or airy. And the swirls of sweet, fresh blueberry sauce are gorgeous and perfectly compliment the tart lemon yogurt. I feel like I’ve been missing out.
lemon frozen yogurt with blueberry swirls
from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
makes 1 generous quart
for the frozen yogurt base:
1 quart plain low-fat yogurt, drained
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or cornstarch if you can’t find tapioca starch)
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
zest from 1 lemon (reserved from lemon syrup)
for the lemon syrup:
2 to 3 lemons (use Meyer lemons if you can find them)
3 tablespoons sugar
for the blueberry sauce (optional):
1-1/2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
To drain the yogurt: Fit a sieve over a bowl and line with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt into the sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours to drain. Discard the liquid, and measure out 1-1/4 cups drained yogurt. Set aside.
for the blueberry sauce: Mix the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are tender and the sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then refrigerate until cold before using.
For the lemon syrup: Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest in large strips from 1 lemon and reserve for the frozen yogurt (large strips are easier to remove from the yogurt base later). Juice lemons until you have 1/2 cup.
Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool.
for the frozen yogurt base: Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the tapioca starch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Set aside.
Create an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the tapioca starch slurry.
Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved 1-1/4 cups yogurt and the lemon syrup and whisk until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Remove the zest from the chilled frozen yogurt base. Pour into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy and starts to pull away from the canister, about 25 minutes.
Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, starting with a little blueberry sauce on the bottom of the container. Alternate yogurt with layers of blueberry sauce. End with a spoonful of sauce; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.