Posts tagged frozen

Revelation: Blueberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt

If my late teens were a discovery of learning how to cook different foods, and if my early twenties were a discovery of loving breads, cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, and so on, then my mid-twenties are a discovery of loving dairy.  Like many people, there’s been some dairy standbys that I have always loved: milk (nonfat, please), cheddar cheese, mozzarella, cottage cheese (large curd only), cream cheese, sour cream, ice creams, and big, fluffy clouds of whipped cream.

Now, if you’ll notice, these are all readily available in the US, and generally speaking are among the mildest, nay even blandest of flavors.  In fact, it hadn’t really occurred to me until right this moment how American and how bland my tastes had run in this particular area.  Almost embarrassing when I think of how international my tastes normally are, how spiced and spicy I can take my food.

Though I ate some versions of sugared kids yogurt as a youngin’, I found that I liked neither that or most cheeses as I grew up.  Even Brie, that so-mild of “exotic” cheeses, was too funky for me.

In the last several years, I have been exposed to many kinds of cheeses and I began to realize that there are some that I actually like.  From triple creme french cheeses to semi-soft cow’s milk cheeses, sheep’s milk manchego and other similar hard, sharp cheeses, goudas, jacks, havarti, fresh mozzarella.  But all of these paled in comparison to goat cheese.  When I discovered this soft, bright white tangy cheese, I fell in love.

Having conquered cheese, I wanted to move on to yogurt.  I had tried and liked Wallaby Australian style yogurt, drinkable in texture, but even then I couldn’t eat them very often.  Their very “yogurt-ness,” that odd tanginess somehow bothered me.  Then I tried Greek yogurt, and all of those objections just flew out the window.  Even the non-fat Greek yogurt has a texture just like full-fat sour cream, and I thought the taste was sort of similar.  Milder, but still a little tangy, and dreamy texture.  I just knew it would make an amazing frozen yogurt, and I was right.

Blueberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt (makes 1 quart)

Now, for the record, I don’t really think this tastes like cheesecake.  I think it would require more cream cheese in proportion to the Greek yogurt, and next time I make this, I would increase the cream cheese and the sweetener slightly, beat them together, then slowly add Greek yogurt to incorporate well, and swirl in a blueberry compote instead of whole berries.  I did whole berries this time only because it would have taken too long to let the compote cool before mixing.

Also, this frozen yogurt, like my earlier sorbet recipe, did freeze very hard.  Still working on this problem.  I think low-sugar recipes are tough to make a good texture.  As I mentioned before, a splash of vodka might help, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp. nonfat milk
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. blueberries

Directions:

  1. Beat first five ingredients together until mixed thoroughly.  Chill approximately ten or fifteen minutes, longer if ingredients have come to room temperature.
  2. Freeze in an ice cream machine, and when yogurt has thickened, add blueberries to the machine until evenly distributed.  Place into a container and freeze several hours, or until scoopable.

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Watermelon Ice

I’d love to unequivocally call this a watermelon sorbet, but the truth is that it isn’t, really.  Sorbets are smooth and sort of creamy, despite the total lack of cream.  This is because of all the sugar content – so, sorbets, though they are generally fat-free, aren’t necessarily what you would call health food.

I wanted something frozen, but didn’t want to add a lot of sugar, so I decided to start here, at watermelon, with a fruit that has plenty of water, so it was already a freezable consistency without having to add water, and thus dilute the flavor.  I hoped that using a much smaller amount of sugar would help to offset the very icy texture, but it didn’t really.  It was still fine to eat after only a couple of hours of freezing.  Longer than that and it really freezes hard as a rock.

Generally speaking, sorbets also freeze with a better texture if you add a tablespoon or so of alcohol, say vodka – if you can get an infused vodka that matches the flavor of your sorbet, so much the better.  I forgot to put any in, so I can’t say what the effect would have been.

Watermelon Ice (makes about 1 quart)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small seedless watermelon (not the tiny ones; those you might need two of), cubed and then pureed
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. water

Directions:

  1. Heat the honey briefly in the microwave and whisk in water until combined.
  2. Add honey-water mixture to watermelon and mix thoroughly.
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Freeze in ice cream maker OR if you do not have an ice cream maker, pour into a glass or metal baking dish and freeze, stirring with a fork every 30 minutes or so, until frozen.

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Kiwi Granita

Last week, I stood in front of my fridge, dropping three more kiwis into my produce drawer and shaking my head.  Oh, sure, I could have just eaten them raw – kiwis are perfectly good raw.  But for me, part of this whole CSA project is to see if it’s possible to use fruits and vegetables in a way I might not normally consider.

For example, because I received both carrots and cauliflower with their greenery still attached, I searched the internet for evidence that they could be eaten, and, indeed, both can be eaten!  Cauliflower greens are rarely if ever sold with the heads, but apparently are quite tender and sweet.  Carrot tops are more bitter and herbal.  Who knew?

Well, back to the kiwis.  Browsing on foodblogsearch.com is my new obsession, as it searches thousands of food blogs for whatever food or dish you want to make.  This is what I found:

Kiwi Granita (three 1-cup servings)

Note: I used kiwi fruit only, but if your fruits are on the sour side, or if you’d like a sweeter, more icy textured granita, add simple syrup to taste before freezing.

Ingredients:

  • 8 kiwis
  • simple syrup, optional

Directions:

  1. Scoop meat of the kiwi fruits into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until pureed.  With food processor on, add simple syrup, if desired.
  2. Pour into a shallow pan and place in the freezer.  Every 10-15 minutes, scrape the mixture with a fork until it is all frozen into icy crystals.
  3. Scoop into bowls – I served with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

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