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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.