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Pinkberry is good - How do I make Frozen Yogurt at home?

I recently tried Pinkberry and found their style of frozen yogurt to be quite good. Its actually frozen yogurt, not pseudo ice cream so it tastes like real yogurt. It made me think about all the lousy so called frozen yogurt places I ate at over the years - TCBY, Columbo, etc. and how none of it was really yogurt just fake ice cream. Is it really hard to make real frozen yogurt? Does anyone know how to do this - is it just like ice cream only made with yogurt? And if I wanted to have it be like the soft serve you get from the machine, can I do this at home or do I need a big, expensive, commercial machine? Thanks for any help.

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  1. For soft frozen yogurt you can do reasonably well with the "pre-freeze the cannister" type home ice cream makers (donvier, cuisinart, etc. makes variants of this). I love Pinkberry yogurt too, but I have a hunch that taking great fresh Bulgarian yogurt and freezing it isn't going to produce the same refreshing tang-- it tastes to me like it involves (at least in part) a Yakult-type yogurt base.

    1. The closest I've gotten is by using Trader Joe's Greek yogurt and following Mark Bittman's frozen yogurt recipe. You have to cook a custard with eggs, and then churn in a regular home ice cream machine.

      If you really want the soft serve flavor, you have to time your eating of the yogurt to be exactly when your freezer freezes the yogurt to that frozen but soft stage, and then either scoop it out or get really fancy and pipe it in a piping bag.

      Scroll to the last link in this archive for a photo and full recipe. I over froze my yogurt so it looks a little funny. Watch yours more carefully to get a soft serve (though it tastes good either way)
      http://www.chezpei.com/2006_09_01_arc...

      1. I've made the Bittyoghurt and it's good, but it certainly isn't low fat.

        There's a great recipe I use from the Jane Brody Good Food Gourmet book that is exactly what it's called...frozen yoghurt. I've made it with Pavel's Russian Low-Fat, Strauss Organic, and, more recently, a combo of "sour" yoghurt with Greek-style.

        Brody's recipe is posted on here somewhere, but I don't remember whether it's the topic or an answer I gave to an existing topic. Prob. searching for "frozen yogurt" would find it.

        It's just a simple combo of lemon zest (I use lots), lemon juice, sugar and yoghurt frozen in a Donvier. It certainly is tart, but not unpleasingly so. I love it madly and can eat it without feeling I'm doing a bad thing.

        If you can't find it, I'll post it again.

        1. I make frozen yogurt all the time and have great success. Can't give you quantities -- I eyeball everything I make. But ... I use Stew Leonard's low-fat plain yogurt (or others, but never Columbo), sugar (to taste), and "thin" it down with whole or 2% skim milk, I always add about 1 tsp real vanilla extract. (Approx. 2 cups yogurt to 1/2 cup milk might be a reasonable ratio, but you'll have to experiment.) My machine? A Simac electric machine. Turn on the (electric) chill button, blend the cold ingredients, pour into the chamber, turn on the (electric) paddle and in about 13-15 minutes ... mmmmmm. The best frozen yogurt on earth -- most especially because you know exactly what's in it -- and what isn't! It's the best. I make sherbet (NOT sorbet) from summer fruits and even with frozen fruits that I put into the blender (or mash by hand). And sometimes I will break down and make vanilla ice cream -- always via cooked custard method and I only use a blend of whole milk and half-and-half, not heavy cream. Great results. Freezing any leftovers is more of a problem since a freezer is designed to be at 0 and ice cream really should be stored at a higher temperature. Commercial products have all the emulsifiers, extenders, guar gum, etc., so they don't harden or crystalize to the same extent. Be sure the container you use is NOT too big for the amount you're freezing -- less air space is better.

          1. My pseudo Pinkberry recipe is:

            2 cups nonfat plain yogurt (I just used Alta Dena)
            1/2 cup 2% milk
            1/2 cup sugar
            1 cup half and half

            Blend ingredients together with a hand mixer. Put into ice cream maker and churn until frozen. Serve with your favorite toppings.

            The taste is similar to Pinkberry, but the texture is a bit icier. Also, it tastes best right out of the ice cream maker. Once you freeze it, it gets fairly hard and requires some defrost time before it's soft enough to eat again.

            http://foodieuniverse.blogspot.com/20...

            1. All I have to say is:
              2 cups Greek Style yogurt
              2/3 cup Sugar
              1 Tablespoon Vanilla
              Mix together, chill 1-3 hrs, put in the ice cream maker for 20 mins.
              It is soooo yummy and when put in the feezer overnight it doesn't harden.
              I can't wait to have all my friends over for a "froyo" party! :)

              1. I think the deal with yogurt is that a lot of the water needs to be removed from it or it'll end up hard and icy -- that's why Greek-style yogurt works well. I haven't tried it yet but 101 Cookbooks has a recipe:

                http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                2 Replies
                1. re: redsofa07

                  I've never had pinkberry, but tried the recipe on 101cookbooks.com last night and liked it a lot. We over-strained our yogurt (I think she says to strain it for 6 hours and I had strained it overnight), so, we stirred a little milk back in. I know, hardly what the recipe called for, but things worked out fine. We sprinkled fresh blueberries over the top, but, I would love to try fresh fruit mixed in, too. I know this is obvious, but it's best served immediately after it's done (rather than putting the canister in the freezer until later...)

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: redsofa07

                    I made frozen yogurt tonight with this recipe and my Kitchenaid ice cream attachment. I used about 3 cups of Trader Joe's Greek yogurt (I used part full-fat yogurt and part 2% yogurt). The 2/3 cups of sugar recommended on the blog (cut from the recipe's original 3/4 cup) still seemed like a lot to me, so I started with about 1/2 a cup. The yogurt still tasted too sweet to me, so I added some lemon zest, and the result was very good... almost reminiscent lemon cheesecake filling. It wasn't quite what I was looking for, though... it didn't have the tangyness of plain yogurt. I think I might try freezing just yogurt and a hint of lemon zest, and serving it with honey.

                  2. this topic is awesome! but how would i make it with a fruit flavor? just add fresh fruit and blend??

                    1. I think you'll get a frozen yogurt product by using yogurt in your ice cream maker, but I think it will be hard to match Pinkberry's taste because there's no yogurt in Pinkberry. I don't really understand the hype as it tastes like chemicals to me. It's a bit reminiscent of what frozen yogurt tasted llike in the 80s. But it seems to be very popular.

                      1. The "tart" is from chemicals added... citric acid, etc. The same chemicals that give sour candy their sour. Red Mango posts their ingredient list on line, unlike Pinkberry, so you can see what is really in it. And as you know, Pinkberry is a knock-off of Red Mango.

                        Funny that everyone thinks it tastes like real yogurt but i'ts just as "fake" as the other types.

                        I do like to make a version by blending frozen blueberries and plain yogurt. Not as sour, though. And don't really need to freeze it.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mlgb

                          I so disagree. I make frozen yogurt in my ice cream maker with Mountain High plain yogurt and it has the tangyness that Pinkberry has. Pinkberry may put chemicals in their yogurt but real natural frozen yogurt made from home doesn't and it tastes like pinkberry to me. Yogurt has a natural tang that is still there when made into frozen yogurt. What ev.

                        2. i use the greek yogurt and just add simple syrup and freeze it in my cuisinart machine. it is low fat ( i like the 2% yogurt) and the quickest for me, since i keep simple syrup in the fridge. it is nice and tangy. i love it. i keep think i ought to make some flavored simple syrup, but i love it so much just the way it is.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pigtails

                            Hi pigtails! I was curious, what is your recipe for simple syrup? Isn't it just sugar & water boiled down? Thanks!

                          2. I heard Pinkberrys mix is from a powder! I believe Starbucks is using the same powder they subsidized from Pinkberry. I went to a new place in Los Angeles called sweettoot or sweet toot frozen yogurt (or something like that)! I know they use real yogurt right out of the container. When I asked about the ingredients, they showed me how it was made! It was pretty good. The most common recepies for frozen yogurt is nonfat milk, non fat frozen yogurt, sugar and half and half. Its hard to get the consistancy just right, but it sure is fun to try!

                            1. RED MANGO... have any of you tried Red Mango. I think better than Pinkberry and certainly better ingredients. We are going to try our best to make something similar at home and will le tyou know if it works.

                              1. I like david liebovitz' recipe and serve it right out of the ice cream maker - soft and delish - add toasted coconut and toasted almonds and if i'm feeling some evil - add chocolate chips - ... nice.

                                1. Patricia Wells has an easy recipe pretty much everywhere that is a dead ringer.

                                  Pinkberry is not quite as awful as it used to be because they had to change the recipe to comply with California somewhat novel law that requres food to be what it says it is, i.e. frozen yogurt must be frozen yogurt and not frozen hydrated powder.

                                  1. Has anyone tried making frozen yogurt leaving out the sugar but using fruit? I'm wondering how it would come out.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Pandora

                                      Just made some truly amazing (rich and creamy), and very tart, chocolate frozen yogurt, using this recipe from the Chocolate&Zucchini blog:

                                      http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

                                      The recipe is mostly yogurt, with some heavy cream added, plus chocolate, cocoa, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. It maintains a nice, scoopable consistency even after hours in the fridge. Way better than Pinkberry in my opinion.

                                      The key is to use the best-quality Greek yogurt you can find. Mine is made locally (Boston, well Belmont MA actually) by a Greek grocer, Sophia's Greek pantry, and it's made from a combination of sheep's milk and goat's milk, which makes it much tangier than Fage and other Greek yogurts made with cow's milk. Good-quality goat's milk yogurt from a place like Whole Foods would be a good substitute.