What to CookFrozen Dessert

Watch Out, Pinkberry: I'm Making 3-Ingredient Frozen Yogurt at Home

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There are those things we eat, make, read, and gush over that are just too good to keep to ourselves. Here, we resist the urge to use too many exclamation points and let you in on our latest crushes.

Today: Once you realize homemade frozen yogurt takes only 3 ingredients and 2 hours to make, will you ever set foot in one of those self-serve shops again? 

If it were August of 2014, I would be writing about my obsession with Pinkberry (...and 16 Handles ...and Froyo World), and it would already be old news. One year ago, frozen yogurt stores were already so ubiquitous that pundits were predicting a bubble burst akin to the Great Cupcake Decline. But that didn't stop me from frequenting. 

But now it is 2015 and I'm a changed woman. I no longer spring for a $6 cup of "Original Tart" topped with shriveled blueberries or spend entirely too much time constructing the perfect cocktail of "Chocolate Love Affair," "Dunk Yo' Cookies," and "Peanut Butter Confession." These days, I only fro-yo when I'm in need of a squishy mochi topping (and I don't have a bag from Nuts.com in the refrigerator). 

This is not because I've joined the leagues of cynics who are more interested in matcha than frozen yogurt. It's because over the past year I received an ice cream maker as a gift from a generous aunt and familiarized myself with the recipes of Max Falkowitz, my favorite internet ice cream personality (see more evidence here). Equipped with just three ingredients, an ice cream machine, and Max's recipe, I can have frozen yogurt that's just as good, if not better, than what I would over-pay for at the store on every corner.

The first time I tasted homemade frozen yogurt, I was floored. While it can be hard to acheive shop-quality ice cream at home (here are some tips to help), it's simple to replicate the flavor and texture of frozen yogurt that I love. Simply whisk together full-fat plain yogurt, a fair amount of sugar (sorry, folks—sugar is what keeps the fro-yo soft and scoopable), and a bit of salt, chill the mixture until it's below 45° F, and then churn. Eat the frozen yogurt straight from the machine, soft serve-style, for a soupy, slurpy experience, or freeze it until solid (about 4 or 5 hours) and scoop it like ice cream.

Swap in Greek yogurt for a richer, creamier consistency (I like to use a mix of plain and Greek for something in between). Max says you can replace up to half the yogurt with fruit purée, peanut butter, jam, or even wine (please tell me if you try it with rosé!), and I've found that processing frozen blueberries or strawberies with the sugar before whisking it into the yogurt yields an intensely fruity variation. I have ambitions to flavor the yogurt with vanilla bean seeds, espresso grounds, and spices and to infuse it with grated ginger and mint leaves overnight. It should be noted that yogurt is not a neutral base: It will maintain its distinct yogurt quality even if you add peanut butter or Nutella.

Because frozen yogurt is so simple to make at home, I'm left with plenty of time to work on stocking my pantry with topping options. I'm almost ready to set up my own shop, but don't worry: If you want to come over and eat fro-yo with me, I promise I won't charge you by weight. 

Soft serve-style frozen yogurt, straight from the machine to the bowl.

Homemade Frozen Yogurt

From Max Falkowitz of Serious Eats

Makes 1 quart

1 quart (3 3/4 cups) plain full-fat yogurt (or use a mix of plain and Greek)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 


Nutella Frozen Yogurt

Makes 1 quart

2 cups full-fat plain yogurt

cup full-fat Greek yogurt

cup Nutella

cup sugar

teaspoon kosher salt 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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Tags: Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts, Yogurt, Summer, 5 Ingredients or Fewer, We're Obsessed