…with this guy:
…and also with this stuff.
Now, there is a link between the two, allow me to explain.
For those of you who don’t know, the guy at the top is Alton Brown, host of Food Network’s Good Eats, and Iron Chef America. Now, if you know me, you know that I choose odd people to have crushes on. People like Alton Brown, my dentist, random characters from made-for-television musicals, characters from audio dramas I listened to as a child, and Cory Matthews from Boy Meets World (I still have a crush on him and the series ended over 10 years ago). Don’t question, don’t judge, just indulge me, ok? I love me some Alton…I just love his dry sense of humour, food knowledge, and, of course, his recipes.
Which brings us to our second photo. By now you may have guessed it, the lemon ginger frozen yogurt you see above is a recipe from Alton Brown. Ladies and gentlemen, I must proclaim that this is my favourite recipe made so far with my new ice cream maker (after one spoonful, my mom agreed). It is perfectly tart and refreshing, and even if you don’t like lemon, I’d give this a try, as the lemon is present, but not overwhelming. I’ve only tried it on the day it was made, so I’m not sure how hard it will freeze, so I’ll have to report back on the texture. But oh, I just love this stuff so much! Here’s how you make it (my adaptations noted).
***Update: It DOES freeze pretty hard, but after softening up/a bit of microwaving to help things along, the texture is just fine, better than the other light ice creams/yogurts I’ve made.
Adapted from Alton Brown (from Good Eats).
- 8 cups plain yogurt (I used mostly fat-free, but a bit of 1 %)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup (I didn’t have enough, so I used 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup agave nectar…worked fine)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (original recipe called for 3/4, but I found 1/2 produced the nice tart frozen yogurt taste I like, but was still sweet enough for me)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup sliced crystallized ginger
Place yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined colander (I used paper towels because I didn’t have cheesecloth – worked A-OK) set over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. At end of 12 hours, discard the liquid and cheesecloth.
In a bowl combine the drained yogurt, corn syrup, sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and fresh ginger. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and process per manufacturer’s instructions, about 25 minutes, adding in the chopped crystallized ginger about 5 minutes before it finishes churning. Transfer frozen yogurt to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours.
Alton says it makes a quart, but I had a little more than that (because I love you Alton, I’ll for give you).
The yogurt begins its overnight transformation in the fridge. This is where I became very thankful for our extra fridge in the garage so I didn’t have to re-arrange all our miscellaneous condiments to make room for this in the kitchen fridge.
The two photos above show what the yogurt looked like the morning after. From 8 cups of yogurt came almost 4 cups of liquid! Just for kicks, I tasted the liquid. It tasted like (gasp!) yogurt. Shocker.
I just wanted to show you how thick the strained yogurt was (that’s a spatula standing straight up in it). I got between 4 and 5 cups I think. Essentially, you are making Greek yogurt at home. I’ve read about doing this before. I haven’t done a full cost analysis yet(sorry for the financial-speak, my mom’s an accountant/financial planner), but I think this may be cheaper than buying Greek yogurt, and really, it’s not that hard.
On the left we see all the ingredients (minus the crystallized ginger) in the bowl before mixing. On the right, it’s all mixed together.
Tip time! If you don’t have a microplane zester/grater, you’re gonna wanna get one before making this recipe. Trust me, it will make your life a lot easier. If you are still living on the dark side and grating lemons on a box grater (I’ve been there, I know), buy a microplane and step into the light. They’re not that expensive, and they do so much more than zest lemons and grate ginger. They also do Parmesan cheese, make chocolate shavings and grate fresh nutmeg. Really, I wouldn’t use fresh ginger without having one of these. Being as it’s so potent, you want it really finely grated.
Speaking of fresh ginger…tip # 2: (for this one, I give credit to my brother-in-law and Rachael Ray) When using fresh ginger, peel it, grate what you need, and put the rest in a resealable bag in the freezer. It’s actually much easier to grate this way (not as tough and fibre-y as fresh) and you won’t waste any. There you go!
Adding the chopped, crystallized ginger right before the end of churning. Make sure you chop this stuff finely, it’s pretty potent!
It’s ready! Now into the freezer you go to firm up for a little while.
This last step is completely optional but highly recommended: enjoy your first scoop on the front porch while reading a magazine and listening to your “Summer Day” playlist on your ipod. Have most of it finished by the time “Soul Sister” by Train is done playing.
If you have an ice cream maker, MAKE THIS NOW! If you are lactose-intolerant, my sincere and deepest apologies. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, come over and enjoy some with me (Katie, (and anyone else) I’m sorry if this feeds your and Jeff’s ice cream maker envy).
It’s summer. And Sunday. Seize the day, blog friends (although I confess, I’m hoping it rains, as I am feeling rather shackled to the hose these days).