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wtylcf

Homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt + sorbet

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wtylcf

Inspired by RachelB's post in the "What's for dinner?" thread, I am, at this very moment, setting my first ever recipe of frozen yogurt. She linked to the following recipe by the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/dinin ... html?_r=1&.

I thought, "hey, I'd be interested in reading other's tips and tricks on this whole homemade ice cream thing," so I thought I'd create a thread about it.

I have attempted the "double freezer bag with brine" method, which sounds a heck of a lot less confusing than the ice-salt-and-salad-bowl craziness described in the main body of the NYT recipe. Basically, it involved mixing 12 cups of water with 1 lb salt, then dividing the mix between 2 freezer bags. I left them to chill for a day, but because of the salt they don't freeze totally (they merely become slightly slushy). This creates a brine that will chill any ice cream mixture quite quickly, producing small ice crystals. To make ice cream, place your mix in a third bag and sandwich it between the 2 freezer bags full of brine, holding them together with towels. Sandwich the bags for 15 mins, remove the ice cream bag and massage the contents for 1 minute while protecting your hands from frostbite with a towel. Then rest for another 15 minutes and you have ice cream. Supposedly. I am still awaiting the results of my first test.

So I don't have any kitchen-tested tips yet, but I did glean the following hints from the internet concering fro-yo creation specifically: http://www.refinery29.com/frozen-yogurt-recipe?page=2

- pre-freeze your fruit. Apparently this prevents large ice crystals from forming. I cut up some cherries, put them in a bag lined with parchment on both sides, then created a poor-woman's version of a vacuum seal by trying to suck the air out of the bag with my powerful lungs. It sorta worked! The cherries stayed mostly separated and didn't get too icy. I froze them between the 2 brine bags I already had in the freezer. This gave me the perception that I had frozen them very quickly to also prevent ice crystal formation, which may or may not be scientifically verifiable.

-Drain your yogurt in cheesecloth and a strainer for at least 4 hours or overnight. I drained mine (which was already greek yogurt and thus somewhat pre-drained) for about 6 hours, and removed about a 1/2 cup of liquid from 1.5 containers, which were about 500g each.

-Mix in a blender. I don't have one, so I just tried to mix thoroughly by hand.

I'm attempting to make maple syrup and cherry frozen yogurt. During the hand-massaging process, some of the cherries exploded in the bag, and now it kind of looks like the aftermath of a knife fight in the snow. But I'm still optimistic that it'll be tasty.

In the future, I'd be interested in tackling sorbet, especially something alcoholic (like maybe prosecco? or honeywine? Or sparkling cider?) or flower-flavoured, like a rosewater-and-something sorbet. Or maybe rosewater ice cream would be awesome and not at all disgusting like I'm afraid it would be. Thoughts?

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wtylcf

An update: while the taste of my recipe was good, I'm having serious over-freezing problems. If I want to experience a normal ice-cream-like texture, I have to let the whole thing thaw for at least half an hour, spoon out a bit, and re-stir it. It's tasty, but a pain in the ass. I'm guessing fro-yo just doesn't really keep that well beyond the initial freezing stage? Or maybe our freezer is set too cold.

The fresh cherries are super delicious frozen. They ended up staining everything a very pretty pink. I was thinking of cooking them into a sauce first, but I'm happy I didn't.

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gingerjo

Something I do as a quick 'cheat' is freeze fresh pineapple chunks and blend them in the food processor. When they are about halfway to a creamy consistency, I add a bit of greek yogurt. Blend until airy and soft, like soft serve. Absolutely fabulous and guilt free, and you don't get the freezer issues!

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wtylcf
Something I do as a quick 'cheat' is freeze fresh pineapple chunks and blend them in the food processor. When they are about halfway to a creamy consistency, I add a bit of greek yogurt. Blend until airy and soft, like soft serve. Absolutely fabulous and guilt free, and you don't get the freezer issues!

Yum, this sounds delicious. I bet some coconut syrup on top would be incredible (but slightly less guilt free!)

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gingerjo

Sometimes instead of the yogurt, I use coconut milk (the thick kind in the can). Tastes like a pina colada! I also make a variation with fresh mint for a super refreshing spin.

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cdn_sarah
Something I do as a quick 'cheat' is freeze fresh pineapple chunks and blend them in the food processor. When they are about halfway to a creamy consistency, I add a bit of greek yogurt. Blend until airy and soft, like soft serve. Absolutely fabulous and guilt free, and you don't get the freezer issues!

I have a bunch of fresh pineapple that I froze for smoothies, but I think I am going to try this tomorrow instead! :)

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happy atheist

I have an ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. It's great for getting the proper texture.

I'm planning to make lemon-ginger frozen yogurt this week.

Other favorites include raspberry sorbet, mango sorbet, and this wonderfully dense chocolate-hazlenut ice cream that's almost like frozen nutella.

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OkToBeTakei

Just posted I am going to try the bag method later. Will let you know how it goes :)

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wtylcf
I have an ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. It's great for getting the proper texture.

I'm planning to make lemon-ginger frozen yogurt this week.

Other favorites include raspberry sorbet, mango sorbet, and this wonderfully dense chocolate-hazlenut ice cream that's almost like frozen nutella.

Oh, man, as if I needed an extra reason to covet the KitchenAid stand mixer! I'll file that away for future reference re: attachments I must acquire...

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OkToBeTakei

It kind of worked. I think I did it wrong. I just used the standard milk, cream, sugar, vanilla pod. Although the cream I used was double cream as it confuses me what heavy cream is.

Ice kind of stuck in clumps and I did not spread the mixture flat when putting it in, therefore it did not freeze. Realised this and flattened it. It froze nicely then, but took twice as long as the recipe. One thing though. WHOLLY FUCKING SWEET batman. That is WAY too much sugar. It was like syrup. I live in an area with many Italian ice-cream speciality shops. A huge Italian/Scottish area. I am spoiled for the best ice-cream in the world. It was a blast doing it though with the kid. Although she found it too sweet also.

I may consider buying a maker, but this experience kind of made me realise I have it good in my area why try to best that :lol:

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Bethella
I have an ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. It's great for getting the proper texture.

I'm planning to make lemon-ginger frozen yogurt this week.

Other favorites include raspberry sorbet, mango sorbet, and this wonderfully dense chocolate-hazlenut ice cream that's almost like frozen nutella.

Can we get the recipe for that chocolate-hazelnut ice cream? Please?

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wtylcf
It kind of worked. I think I did it wrong. I just used the standard milk, cream, sugar, vanilla pod. Although the cream I used was double cream as it confuses me what heavy cream is.

Ice kind of stuck in clumps and I did not spread the mixture flat when putting it in, therefore it did not freeze. Realised this and flattened it. It froze nicely then, but took twice as long as the recipe. One thing though. WHOLLY FUCKING SWEET batman. That is WAY too much sugar. It was like syrup. I live in an area with many Italian ice-cream speciality shops. A huge Italian/Scottish area. I am spoiled for the best ice-cream in the world. It was a blast doing it though with the kid. Although she found it too sweet also.

I may consider buying a maker, but this experience kind of made me realise I have it good in my area why try to best that :lol:

Good to hear it eventually froze nicely. I think heavy cream is 32%, like whipping cream? (this article has a breakdown of cream types, and heavy cream is extra fat whipping cream: http://candy.about.com/od/candybasics/a/creamguide.htm). I also dislike over-sweet ice cream; it's good to know the recipe is too sweet for our future reference should any of us try the NYT recipe.

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wtylcf

So I haven't made more fro-yo, since I'm supposed to be cutting most dairy out of my diet for the next little while. It's hot as balls out here, and while I love hot coffee, I just couldn't fathom drinking something hot today when it's 44C/110 F here with the humidex. Since trace amounts of coffee cream are ok with my diet plan, today I did an experiment trying to make a homemade frappuccino with my bags of brine, and it worked beautifully! It was kind of a make-it-up-as-you-go thing, so I don't have precise measurements. But here's the gist of it:

I mixed a dash of coffee cream with a dash of sugar. I made a double espresso shot with my stovetop espresso maker. I put one ice cube in the cream and sugar mix then poured the coffee over. It was still hot, but I didn't want to water it down more, so I put it in a small freezer bag and sandwiched it between the 2 brine bags for only about 2 minutes. It turned really nicely slushy, kind of like a starbucks frappuccino but with a bit more of a fine grained ice, and with a much stronger flavour.

If you want to do this yourself, I think that mixing some water in with the cream, sugar and double-shot would be the way to go.

*edited for a summer-brain riffle

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RachelB
Inspired by RachelB's post in the "What's for dinner?" thread, I am, at this very moment, setting my first ever recipe of frozen yogurt. She linked to the following recipe by the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/dinin ... html?_r=1&.

I thought, "hey, I'd be interested in reading other's tips and tricks on this whole homemade ice cream thing," so I thought I'd create a thread about it.

I have attempted the "double freezer bag with brine" method, which sounds a heck of a lot less confusing than the ice-salt-and-salad-bowl craziness described in the main body of the NYT recipe. Basically, it involved mixing 12 cups of water with 1 lb salt, then dividing the mix between 2 freezer bags. I left them to chill for a day, but because of the salt they don't freeze totally (they merely become slightly slushy). This creates a brine that will chill any ice cream mixture quite quickly, producing small ice crystals. To make ice cream, place your mix in a third bag and sandwich it between the 2 freezer bags full of brine, holding them together with towels. Sandwich the bags for 15 mins, remove the ice cream bag and massage the contents for 1 minute while protecting your hands from frostbite with a towel. Then rest for another 15 minutes and you have ice cream. Supposedly. I am still awaiting the results of my first test.

So I don't have any kitchen-tested tips yet, but I did glean the following hints from the internet concering fro-yo creation specifically: http://www.refinery29.com/frozen-yogurt-recipe?page=2

- pre-freeze your fruit. Apparently this prevents large ice crystals from forming. I cut up some cherries, put them in a bag lined with parchment on both sides, then created a poor-woman's version of a vacuum seal by trying to suck the air out of the bag with my powerful lungs. It sorta worked! The cherries stayed mostly separated and didn't get too icy. I froze them between the 2 brine bags I already had in the freezer. This gave me the perception that I had frozen them very quickly to also prevent ice crystal formation, which may or may not be scientifically verifiable.

-Drain your yogurt in cheesecloth and a strainer for at least 4 hours or overnight. I drained mine (which was already greek yogurt and thus somewhat pre-drained) for about 6 hours, and removed about a 1/2 cup of liquid from 1.5 containers, which were about 500g each.

-Mix in a blender. I don't have one, so I just tried to mix thoroughly by hand.

I'm attempting to make maple syrup and cherry frozen yogurt. During the hand-massaging process, some of the cherries exploded in the bag, and now it kind of looks like the aftermath of a knife fight in the snow. But I'm still optimistic that it'll be tasty.

In the future, I'd be interested in tackling sorbet, especially something alcoholic (like maybe prosecco? or honeywine? Or sparkling cider?) or flower-flavoured, like a rosewater-and-something sorbet. Or maybe rosewater ice cream would be awesome and not at all disgusting like I'm afraid it would be. Thoughts?

An alternative to pre-freezing fruit is to cook it just slightly to drive off some of the water, then chill it. Excess water will make a grainy ice cream.

I know some people who make granita by pouring their liquid into a pan and stirring with a fork intermittently-- results in sort of a flaky texture. But if you want a smooth and scoopable sorbet, an ice cream maker helps a lot. Sorbet is more difficult than ice cream, IME: I have a tart tooth, and the amount of sugar you need to add to make a sorbet scoopable right out of the freezer generally results in a sweeter sorbet than I want. A smidge of wine or liquor-- like a tablespoon to a quart of batter-- will let you cut out some of the sugar, but it also takes longer to freeze and makes the sorbet get sticky-textured more quickly. (We did a cider sorbet a few years ago for Thanksgiving, served with gingerbread. It was tasty, but it burned out the motor on our old combination motorized/handcrank ice cream maker, making it the most expensive dessert I've ever made.) Egg whites will also produce a more scoopable result, but then you're making sherbet rather than proper sorbet.

Re: rosewater, The Partner made rhubarb scones recently, flavored with cardamom and rosewater, and they were delicious. So I can see a rose/cardamom/tart fruit ice cream working well-- if not rhubarb, then maybe tart cherry or orange.

We need to eat up the blueberry-lemon sorbet and the fig ice cream that's in the freezer, stat, so there's a little more room for experiments.

Since you're trying to avoid dairy, I wanted to let you know that my next couple experiments are going to be non-dairy; I've got a friend who wants some recipes veganized. If I get any good results, I'll post them here. In the meantime, here's a cherry almond ice "milk" (which could probably stand to have some coconut cream added-- it's too lowfat):

Cherry almond ice “creamâ€

3 c. water

1 c. almonds (toasted but not salted)

½ c. sugar

Blend 2 minutes, then strain. (Reserve solids for eating on toast.) Return “cream†to blender and add one pound frozen pitted tart cherries (or about 2 c. cherry puree). Mix well. Add ½ tsp. almond or vanilla extract. Taste and sweeten more if need be. Freeze as directed.

(If you don't have a blender, use 3 1/2 cups of an unsweetened prepared almond milk, then skip to the part where you add the cherries.)

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happy atheist

Can we get the recipe for that chocolate-hazelnut ice cream? Please?

Sure!

It's a bit complicated, but worth it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

2 C half-and-half

4 egg yolks

1/2 C sugar

1/4 C unsweetened cocoa

1 Tbsp instant espresso powder

4 oz bittersweet chocolate

1 C heavy cream

1/2 C Nutella

1 Tbsp Frangelico or Amaretto (optional)

Hazlenut Praline Mix-in (optional)

1/2 C hazelnuts

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp butter

Heat the half-and-half in a double boiler.

Whisk yolks, then add sugar, cocoa, and espresso powder.

Temper and combine the half-and-half and the yolk mixture, then cook in the double boiler for about 10 minutes (until the mixture coats the back of a spoon).

Stir in the chocolate.

As soon as the chocolate is melted, put the mixture in an ice bath.

Stir occasionally until it reaches room temp.

Stir in cream and nutella.

Chill thoroughly (about 3 hours)

Hazelnut praline mix-in(optional)

Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts, then chop them fine.

Melt butter in a frying pan

Add chopped nuts and sugar

Stir until nuts are caramelized (a couple minutes)

Turn out onto greased foil.

Once cooled, break into little pieces.

Put the chocolate mixture in the ice cream maker

When it's almost done, add in the liquor if you're using it

Add in the nuts (if you're using them), mix for another few seconds

Freeze

Enjoy.

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Bethella

Thanks Happy Atheist!

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sparkles

Made fig ice cream (David Lebovitz' recipe) yesterday and Holy Disappointment, Batman! Really nice creamy texture but it was so cloyingly sweet I couldn't finish it. When I was making the fig base, I had a feeling it would be over the top sweet so I added more lemon juice. Freezing did tone it down somewhat but it still a fail. $15 worth of figs down the drain. Yuck. :evil:

Next up: S'mores ice cream

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happy atheist

Does the fig ice cream have all the tiny crunchy seeds? It seems like it would have an odd texture.

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sparkles
Does the fig ice cream have all the tiny crunchy seeds? It seems like it would have an odd texture.

No, not at all. I pureed the fig mixture in the Vitamix and obliterated any seeds. The texture was totally smooth. It was just way too sweet for me but then again I'm not a sweets person, much prefer tart, so other peeps might like it.

Here's the recipe.

2 pounds (1 kg) fresh figs (about 20)

1/2 cup (125 ml) water

1 lemon, preferably unsprayed

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

1. Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium, nonreactive saucepan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Remove the lid, add the sugar, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the figs are a jamlike consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, purée the fig paste in a blender or food processor with the cream and lemon juice. Taste, then add more lemon juice if desired.

3. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I added a LOT of lemon juice, but had to stop before it turned into lemon soup.

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RachelB
Made fig ice cream (David Lebovitz' recipe) yesterday and Holy Disappointment, Batman! Really nice creamy texture but it was so cloyingly sweet I couldn't finish it. When I was making the fig base, I had a feeling it would be over the top sweet so I added more lemon juice. Freezing did tone it down somewhat but it still a fail. $15 worth of figs down the drain. Yuck. :evil:

Next up: S'mores ice cream

That's the fig ice cream we made, too, except we left out half the sugar, figuring Mission figs are hella sweet (and it's easier to add more sugar once you've added the cream and tasted the batter than to take it out). That was the right decision-- the ice cream is still on the sweet side, but fine served with tart nectarines or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. And halving the sugar did not make it unscoopable in the slightest.

Our experience so far, after maybe 10 recipes in that book, is that when DL is wrong, he's very very wrong (e.g., the prune and Armagnac ice cream, which has too much Armagnac and won't freeze when made as directed)-- if you look at the recipe and think, "This seems odd," it probably is.

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happy atheist

I've only had fresh figs once, and they were dreadful. I like dried figs, and fig newtons, so it's not figs in general.

How do you choose good figs? I'm in Pennsylvania, so they don't grow around here. I'm not going to find them at the farmer's market.

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Arete
I've only had fresh figs once, and they were dreadful. I like dried figs, and fig newtons, so it's not figs in general.

How do you choose good figs? I'm in Pennsylvania, so they don't grow around here. I'm not going to find them at the farmer's market.

There is no such thing as good fresh figs on the East Coast of the United States. Figs need to be picked ripe. The figs sold on the East Coast are not picked ripe. The are ripened chemically to allow them to be transported across the country. Really, what is available on the East Coast is only good for marmalades and jams.

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RachelB
I've only had fresh figs once, and they were dreadful. I like dried figs, and fig newtons, so it's not figs in general.

How do you choose good figs? I'm in Pennsylvania, so they don't grow around here. I'm not going to find them at the farmer's market.

Come to the West Coast during fig season, go to a farmers' market, and ask to sample. Bring egg cartons with you; some varieties of figs transport well in them. (Relatively well, that is.)

I am not a great fig fan-- acid and subacid fruit are more my thing-- but The Partner says a good ripe fig should be sweet, rich, aromatic, and somewhat milky in flavor. He gives bonus points if the fig is leaking sticky juice out the blossom end but has no hint of fermented smell.

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