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Strawberry balsamic yogurt gelato...one of my best this summer!

c
Carb Lover Aug 16, 2005 04:57 PM

It's true. This latest concoction that you see below is definitely a contender for one of my best homemade frozen treats this summer! The texture was consistently creamy through and through, not icy at all, and the flavor was complex and gourmet-ish but brought out the delighted child in me. It was all about the strawberries that were organic and pleasantly but not overly sweet from my farmer's market. Plus the deep rosy color was incredible. I think the yogurt really gave it a nice texture, and it was even non-fat.

Before I give you a recipe, let me just say that I have learned that tasting throughout the whole process is key, even while churning. Not only is it tasty, but it gives me "data checkpoints" along the way so that I understand what's happening and can make adjustments accordingly. In this way, ice cream making is more like cooking than baking, and it also has that element of "feel" that is central to bread-making that can only come from hands-on experience. There is a science to it though, since certain ingredients aid in texture and ratios can be useful. Since tasting throughout will diminish your final quantity, make sure to factor this in at the start.

How does this translate to my process? Never follow an exact recipe for ice cream; use it as a guideline only. For instance, don't dump in 3/4 c. sugar all at one time but add gradually in small increments and taste the impact. Same goes for vanilla, lemon juice, and other flavorings. If I add dairy to a fruit base, I also add to taste. Eggs are different though, but it's helpful to find your ideal egg to base ratio for custard bases...I like 1 yolk per 1 c. of base. I don't generally use eggs or anything too overpowering (like heavy cream) in fruit bases though. Now I'm rambling...

Without further ado, here's my guideline for strawberry balsamic yogurt gelato (I'm not calling it frozen yogurt b/c it tastes more like gelato than fro yo):

Makes 3/4 qt.

3 c. of fresh organic strawberries, hulled
2-3 tsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
about 10 TB sugar, both granulated and superfine
pinch salt
about 1 c. plain yogurt (I used TJ's French Village non-fat)

Macerate hulled berries in 5 TB granulated sugar and 1 tsp. of balsamic for at least 30 min. Puree in blender and strain. Taste and add pinch salt if desired. Now gradually add superfine sugar til mixture is tad too sweet. Slowly add plain yogurt in 1/4 c. increments til desired flavor. Readjust sugar and balsamic, keeping in mind that flavors will dull a bit once frozen. Use whisk to get out lumps and blend ingredients well.

If base is fairly cold, then churn, otherwise let chill a bit in fridge. Once base has transformed from liquid to more solid mass, taste. If flavor concentration is good, then turn off and freeze accordingly. If too concentrated and more air is desired, then let go longer. I churned this batch for about 15-20 min. Enjoy!

Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

  1. j
    julesrules Jun 20, 2008 06:21 AM

    I think this thread originally put the idea in my head that I wanted an ice cream maker, and 3 years later I finally got one. I made this last night and it is wonderful. Our local strawberries are pretty tart right now. I doubled the recipe and used about 1.25 cups regular sugar. Used Astro brand Balkan-style yoghurt which is on the sour side. The resulting combo of tart berries, yoghurt and balsamic made for a wonderfully TART dessert. It also reminded me that while I don't really go for fruit ice creams, I love fruit frozen yoghurt!
    I didn't end up straining the strawberries because I quickly saw that was going to take quite a while as the mixture clogged up my strainer immediately. The seeds do not bother me at all.

    1. a
      anzu May 25, 2008 03:46 PM

      I'm making this right now! I got a half a flat of berries (yes, it's a lot for one person, but I go through 2-3 pints in one week, this recipe used up 2, and I'm making chocolate waffles with berry toppings for some friends. . .), and my local grocers had a fig balsamic on sale, and having an extra day to putz around and try stuff like this. . . anyway, with these combo of things, I couldn't not make this. I didn't have superfine, so I just used regular sugar. I'll see how it comes out. Unfortunately I don't have an ice cream maker, so I'm sort of checking the freezer periodically and mixing. If this doesn't work, I might borrow an ice cream maker from someone and just do it properly tomorrow.

      I haven't tasted it frozen, but it has an incredibly vibrant flavor. I also love the balsamic addition. I cut the sugar to 8 tbsp, though it's still a bit too sweet. You did say that flavors will dull a bit when it gets cold, so I think it'll taste lovely when it comes out. Thanks to whoever resurrected this thread, as well as to the original poster!

      1. s
        shiregirl May 22, 2008 09:48 AM

        I know this is an old recipe, but I just stumbled upon it. We have loads of strawberries fresh from picking, so I decided I needed to make this.

        I varied it a little. I used about 1/4 cup of honey or so instead of sugar, and didn't puree and strain, but just mashed the berries up with a metal whisk while they were macerating. This is simply incredible. I can't wait for my husband to get home from work so he can try it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: shiregirl
          m
          millygirl May 22, 2008 10:11 AM

          Wow that does sound really good. Thanks for reviving this shiregirl, I've been wanting to try something different. Now all I have to do is wait for our local berries to arrive.

        2. k
          kevinj Aug 17, 2005 11:07 AM

          Do you have to use superfine sugar - I only have regular sugar.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kevinj
            j
            jenny Aug 17, 2005 11:55 AM

            is superfine sugar the same as powdered sugar?

            1. re: jenny
              c
              Carb Lover Aug 17, 2005 12:24 PM

              No, superfine and powdered are different. Superfine or caster sugar is essentially granulated sugar that has been processed more finely. Powdered sugar is even finer and has cornstarch added. They aren't interchangeable. See link for more info on sugars. Superfine is discussed under varieties of granulated sugar. C&H sells what they call ultrafine sugar, which is what I use. Places like Safeway carry it around the other sugars, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.

              To respond to the initial question, most people use granulated sugar for ice cream/sorbet making, so the superfine is my twist. I've recently discovered this stuff and love it for baking. In sorbet where I'm gradually adding the sugar over no heat, I love how it dissolves quickly and evenly which I believe improves the final texture. If you have a food processor, you can grind regular sugar til the granules are more fine, but I've read that this method can result in uneven-sized crystals. I think it would be fine for sorbet though.

              Link: http://www.foodsubs.com/Sweeten.html#...

          2. o
            oakjoan Aug 16, 2005 07:29 PM

            Is the yoghurt you used very tangy? Was it plain yoghurt?

            I have a few cups of Greek Fage yoghurt that I've been meaning to use in froz yog. It's less sour than other yogs.

            When I make lemon froz yog I actually LOVE the tanginess of the plain, sourish, yogh.

            Yours looks lovely

            1 Reply
            1. re: oakjoan
              c
              Carb Lover Aug 17, 2005 06:57 PM

              I used non-fat plain yogurt from the TJ's French Village line. It's tangy but not excessively so. Never had Greek fage before, but the beauty of this recipe is that you add sugar to taste. I usually dislike homemade ice cream after more than a day, but gotta say, this one retained its creamy texture and pure flavor very nicely! I'm going to try yogurt w/ peaches once my peaches from the in-laws' tree ripen sufficiently...

            2. j
              jackie Aug 16, 2005 06:13 PM

              Yum--thanks again for another great recipe. I think you should have a gelato/ice cream party. I know a lot of us would come!

              2 Replies
              1. re: jackie
                c
                Carb Lover Aug 16, 2005 07:19 PM

                You're welcome. Better yet, we should have an ice cream convention, but freezer space might be a challenge. BTW, I originally indicated that this makes about 3/4 qt., but upon reflection, it was more like 1-1.25 pints. Just so you and others know...sounds like it would be perfect for those who got that Panasonic mini machine.

                1. re: Carb Lover
                  c
                  Carb Lover Aug 17, 2005 12:35 PM

                  I should have left well enough alone. For some reason, I thought my canister was just a qt. but after measuring it, it's actually 1.5 qt. This means this gelato recipe results in about 3/4 qt. since the canister was half full. Makes me empathize w/ those who write recipes for books that can't be changed after printing...

              2. m
                Mr. Taster Aug 16, 2005 05:04 PM

                Wow, sounds unbelievable..... I'll be trying this myself, with my ice cream maker that I just used for the first time this morning!! :)

                Since you have so much experience, I wonder if you could give me some input on my first experience? I'll make a new posting above.

                Mr. Taster

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mr. Taster
                  k
                  Katie Nell Aug 16, 2005 05:10 PM

                  Finally... I've been waiting ALL DAY!!! :)

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