Sunday, August 7, 2011

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Back in May I spotted a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker on sale at HomeSense. It was less than half price and an appliance I have had my eye on for quite some time. My 'to-do' file of recipes (the paper one that falls out of my cupboard above my computer whenever I open the door) has more than a few ice cream recipes lurking within, waiting to be brought to life. So I bought it. Flash forward several months. A half dozen peaches sit on the kitchen cupboard. Anna Olsen offers up a tantalizing recipe for peach frozen yogurt in her cookbook Fresh which I peruse on the couch. The perfect storm of events for a maiden ice cream maker voyage.

This recipe was a good choice for a first time frozen dessert attempt. Few ingredients required, no complicated steps. My biggest problem was finding an appropriate container to store my final product. And peeling the peaches, which, depending on how ripe they are can be a huge pain. These peaches (Ontario born and raised) were cooperative, thankfully.

To peel peaches I put my peaches in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Once they have had a nice soak (about 5 minutes) I take them out one at a time and if all goes well (i.e. they are ripe and ready to eat) the skins simply slide off. Then I rinse them in cold water.

So. I peeled my peaches, diced them and put them in a blender with some superfine sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and yogurt. Then all I had to do was fold in the whipping cream (whipped to soft peaks) and pour the whole works into my ice cream maker. The bowl of the ice cream maker has been in my freezer for weeks. It has to be really, really frozen before you can use it. I put mine in the freezer shortly after I bought my ice cream maker and then kind of forgot about it until I decided to make my frozen yogurt.

My peach mixture whirred away in the ice cream maker for about 20 minutes. During that time you could definitely see the consistency changing - it wasn't quite done (i.e. fully frozen) when the twenty minutes were up but the instructions that came with the machine advise it takes another few hours for your ice cream (frozen yogurt) to completely freeze. When I took it out the next morning it was definitely frozen. In fact, I had to leave it out for a half hour or so to soften in order to serve it!

I served my peach frozen yogurt, like we serve most frozen treats around here, in the sundae glasses that I scored from the Dollar Store (two for a dollar) about ten years ago when we were having a backyard BBQ and serving a crowd ice cream sundaes. I knew they would be a good investment. I have a dozen or more of these dishes and I use them all the time, and not just for ice cream.

So far I haven't been able to convince the boys to taste my first ever ice cream / frozen yogurt creation. I should have billed it as ice cream. They eat frozen yogurt (and plain yogurt for that matter) but I'm pretty sure I've always just called frozen yogurt ice cream, so they were a bit suspicious when I first tried to scoop some out. David tried a spoonful, but he generally eschews ice cream of any kind so his reaction was fairly lukewarm. I personally quite liked how this turned out, however next time I might try and find a milder tasting yogurt. I used a Balkan-style plain yogurt in the recipe and I find its taste over-powers the fresh peaches.

(Psst - I halved this recipe since I didn't have all of the peaches required and it still came out fine.)

Peach Frozen Yogurt - from Anna Olsen

4 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches
1/2 cup superfine sugar (fruit sugar)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups yogurt
3/4 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

 Purée peaches in a blender until smooth. Blend in sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until sugar has dissolved.

Pulse in yogurt until smooth. Fold in whipped cream and process in an ice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions.

Scrape frozen yogurt into a non-reactive container and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

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