Churn up decadent frozen yogurt at home using sweet, ripe strawberries, tangy Greek yogurt, and Nicole Weston’s signature meringue method.
Yes, you can make frozen desserts at home with the tangy, fresh flavor of premium frozen yogurts. Great frozen yogurt starts with delicious yogurt, so you should always choose a brand that has a flavor you like. Alternatively, you can make your own yogurt and use it as a base for your frozen yogurt creations.
Yogurt is easy to make at home, and yogurt fans might find that they like their homemade version better than anything available at the grocery store. If you are going to use store-bought yogurt as a starter, read the label carefully to ensure that it contains live cultures, or your homemade yogurt will not thicken up properly. The best yogurts to use will have very short ingredient lists and will not include stabilizers or thickeners, such as gelatin or cornstarch.
Greek-style yogurt is plain yogurt that has been strained to remove excess whey, resulting in a yogurt that is much thicker and creamier in consistency than ordinary yogurt. Authentic Greek-style yogurt does not get its texture from the addition of gelatin or stabilizers. Greek-style yogurt is available in many flavors, but the distinctive tangy flavor of plain is best for making flavorful frozen yogurt. You can easily turn ordinary yogurt into Greek-style yogurt by straining it through cheesecloth or a very fine sieve for a few hours to remove most of the whey.
The excess whey — the watery part of milk — that is in regular yogurt will turn to ice when you use it in frozen yogurt. The frozen yogurt will still taste good straight out of the ice cream maker, but it will be a harder and icier frozen yogurt than one made with Greek-style yogurt.
Why Make It with Meringue?
Adding an easy-to-make meringue helps to aerate the base of your frozen yogurt for perfectly creamy results.
Another advantage of the Meringue Method is that the melted sweetener for the recipe is easily incorporated into the yogurt. Many recipes call for long periods of strong stirring to dissolve granulated sugar into the yogurt. So, though it may seem complicated at first, it takes only a few minutes to make the meringue, and the results are well worth the effort.
Fresh fruit and plain yogurt are such a familiar — and delicious — combination that it only seems natural to combine them again for dessert. This recipe pairs gorgeous, ripe strawberries and creamy plain yogurt for a truly indulgent frozen treat.
Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Strawberry is a perennial favorite at any ice cream shop, but nothing beats strawberry frozen yogurt made at home with fresh berries. The fresh strawberries shine through in this frozen yogurt and add a bright pink color.
Makes about 1½ quarts
- 10–12 ounces fresh strawberries
- ¼ cup water
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt, cold
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Hull the strawberries, and then purée in a food processor until very smooth. You should have about 1 cup of strawberry purée.
- Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, without stirring, over medium-high heat. When the sugar mixture comes to a full boil, continue to boil for 1 minute.
- While the sugar boils, beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a large clean bowl. When the sugar is ready, continue beating the eggs on low speed and very slowly stream in the hot sugar mixture. When all the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the meringue is glossy and has cooled almost down to room temperature, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk together the yogurt, strawberry purée, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in the meringue.
- Pour the yogurt mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container and chill in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours to allow the yogurt to completely set.
Flavor Twist: Strawberry Lemonade
Before churning, add 2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest and ⅓ cup of lemon curd (homemade or store-bought) to the frozen yogurt base.