I feel guilty cutting and pasting my latest article from the Ville’s semi-monthly paper, The Village Chronicles because that’s shameless lazy blogging.. But I’m going to anyway, because we made a new flavor last night and it’s so good that I’ll risk my literary reputation and give you the long form, previously published version so I don’t have to retype the procedure.
Oh, mes amis, we used half and half orange marmalade and apricot jam last night as the fruity/sweetening additions. It was just crazy delicious — the apricot provided the sweet back note, and the orange flavor was bright and mysterious. What’s next? Hmmmm — Nutella maybe?
A Taste of Milk and Honey – From Greece
I don’t buy much yoghurt in the little containers with the pretty pictures and the cute flavors. Before you start dumping your empty Yoplait containers on my lawn and sneer at my elitism: I like them! They taste good, provide a good hit of dairy to the diet, and may be the only healthful item your fourteen year old will eat on the bus to school, as she texts her BFF two rows back.
I mean, I’ve made my own yoghurt – that’s geeky – since I was a young bride, blooming it on a steam radiator in a Chicago six flat. I’ve drained that yog in cheesecloth and made a soft, herbed cheese .But I’ve mostly used yoghurt in savory applications like Greek tzaziki, Indian mint chutney, or as a tangy lo-cal substitute for sour cream in mashed potatoes.
In the last five years Greek Yoghurt has appeared in our dairy cases, and it’s the Hellenic apotheosis of yoghurt. It blows all other yogs outta the park. It’s deeply, hedonistically creamy, tart yet rich, and way better than any yoghurt I’ve ever made. Fage is the universal brand here, but Trader Joe’s is better, cheaper and worth the drive. Please don’t fail me here and buy the 2% fat version. Live a little: it makes a difference, and buy the full fat version.
I’ll welcome you into my two a.m. cravings. I love to bake, love desserts, but sweets aren’t a regular part of our diet. A few early mornings ago I would have sold my Granny into slavery for a scoop of ice cream, a Peanut Buster Parfait, a brownie. Leftover couscous with eggplant in the fridge just wasn’t making it for me. I didn’t have so much as a carton of crappy cheap Neapolitan in the freezer. I forced myself to drift into a creamy fantasy.
I, like you, have an ice cream maker lurking around, a wedding present, a garage sale find, or like us, paid in full at Crate and Barrel. It’s time to drag it out and dry it out. This is an original by Maggie, dreamed up at three in the morning. I was longing for the Adriatic, I craved sweet, rich and creamy, and I wanted to put off the egg-rich custardy base for another week.
Oh geez, so easy, so adaptable. Scrape a 16 ounce carton of Greek yoghurt into a bowl, with a teaspoon of vanilla and a cup of honey. Mix, tasting: the mixture should taste a tad sweeter than you want the finished frozen yoghurt to be, because the chill takes the edge off the sweet.
When we dished up the soft frozen stuff and tasted it: what can I say? The dairy and the honey tasted like Corfu or any other Greek Island, sweet, tart, tangy with that indescribable lingering aftertaste that tastes like summer. Fresh, sweet and a tad acid. That evocative flavor lingered on my palate for an hour.
Then we got to thinking: Greek Yoghurt can be the base of many frozen treats. I love the idea of maple syrup replacing the honey, or a cup of strawberry jam. Try any fruit in preserved form or cooked gently on the stovetop; raw fruit can turn into frozen nubbins in the ice cream machine. Keep it sweet, keep it tangy, keep it simple. It’s so easy, so good, and it’s lovely to drift to sleep fantasizing about white houses, blue sea, and the Greek Islands.