Homemade frozen yogurt problems
My wife recently bought me a Cuisinart ice cream maker for my b-day and I love it...for ice cream. It always turns out creamy, rich, and delicious. But when I try to make frozen yogurt, it ends up icy and hard (although still tasty). Has anyone else run into this problem? Basically, I take strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar, puree it, and use a hand mixer to mix that with plain yogurt. Then I refrigerate the mixture for a few hours, and churn it. But it seems to be too thick (or something) because the machine turns off before the yogurt is completely frozen, then when I freeze it in the freezer, I end up with a solid block of yogurt. Any suggestions? Thank you.
Without seeing the proportions you're using, I'm having a hard time guessing at what might be the problem. I can tell you that I had great luck using this recipe from David Leibovitz:
The texture was perfectly smooth and creamy. I did tweak the recipe a bit (see my comment at the bottom of linked blog page), but I'm guessing the original would have worked just as well. FWIW, I used Straus Family Creamery's whole milk plain yogurt.
I think the use of fat-free yoghurt might be the problem...I get that you want to do that, but you might thave to sacrifice some of the calories to achieve the texture...
I believe homemade frozen yogurt, in general, tends to freeze pretty hard (esp. in home freezers, perhaps?). However, you might try using greek yogurt. It is much thicker than regular yogurt and I believe the lower water content keeps the frozen yogurt really smooth. Plus I like the taste much better. I used to use regular yogurt (even tried straining it before making the frozen stuff) but it never turned out as good as the greek yogurt.
the reason the frozen yogurt isn't working out is because it has too much water.
you could reduce the water by straining the yogurt over night before using it.
you could make the ice cream softer by either adding more sugar or a little bit of alcohol - i always add a tablespoon of vodka to sorbets in order to make them stay soft.
since you are using strawberries which are watery, i would probably try all of those things before giving up. it still won't "look" frozen the way your ice cream does, but it will be much better.
i use my cuisinart maker to make frozen yogurt that way successfully, although i've never added strawberries.