The moment I picked those berries, the clock started ticking. One reason the strawberries you buy at the grocery store taste so blah is because they’ve been in suspended animation. They get cold stored which prolongs their shelf life. Fresh picked berries, however, have essentially been removed from their life support system. The morning after harvest, the berries I had set aside from the mega batch of jam were already starting to dry out and wither. Their once shiny exteriors were flat and dull. I needed to get these berries into the kitchen stat. Luckily, the recipe on call that day was Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. I was asked to assist.
We scrubbed up and got operating. Berries were rinsed, hulled, and sugared. A splash of vodka (optional) was applied. After sitting for two hours, yogurt and lemon juice was added and mixed with a stick blender until smooth. The mix needed additional time in the refrigerator to chill. Then it was off to the ice cream machine. Thirty minutes later, the operation was a complete success and the yogurt was ready to go into the freezer.
This is one time suspended animation is your friend, not your foe.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
The recipe I worked from called for french yogurt. I used Fage Greek Yogurt which the folks at Trader Joe’s usually have on hand. If you can’t get Fage or another greek yogurt, strain regular plain yogurt through a paper towel lined sieve in the refrigerator to remove the liquid. You will be left with a thick, creamy yogurt similar to Fage.
I’ve had this recipe for so long that I forgot where it originally came from. It was definitely something I got online. If it’s yours, thanks for sharing.
1 pound strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vodka (optional – this helps the frozen yogurt keep a soft consistency)
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Slice the strawberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and vodka (if using) until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the strawberries and their juices to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt and lemon juice. Pulse the machine until the mixture is smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any seeds, if you like.
Chill until cold, at least 1 hour. Then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.