Summertime. Ice cream. Strawberries. Yes.
Homemade ice cream? Even better. But I'm guessing I'm not the only one who daydreams about blackberry cassis swirl, triple caramel sea salt and raspberry mojito before remembering there is a serious roadblock in my way.
I don't have an ice cream maker. And I'm not quite ready to drop the cash for something I may realistically use twice a year.
So today's recipe is like an intro to ice cream, with no ice cream maker. But it's yogurt, which gives us reason to make it again and again. Not only is it healthier, but it is MUCH easier than custard-based ice cream and sorbets, which often have to be cooked and strained. For my recipe, we take full-fat plain Greek yogurt and mix it with some honey, then pop it in the freezer. If you remember, stir it every 30 minutes. Or, if you're me, you're gonna freeze it, forget about it, then wake up the next day to an awesome frozen yogurt that's so healthy you can eat it for breakfast with a straight face.
Let's talk about the second part of the recipe - balsamic roasted strawberries. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a classic combo, particularly in Italy. The deep, sweet tang of balsamic pairs gorgeously with strawberries, and it's a great way to use up berries that are just about past their prime. You can play around with the sweetener - I used Highbank Orchard Syrup, which is made with just apples, but you could try agave, honey or plain old sugar.
A few things to note - use Greek yogurt, as the water content is lower than regular yogurt. The consistency will be much less icy when you're not using an ice cream machine. And also cover it with a parchment paper lid directly on the surface to protect the texture. And finally, use a good metal ice cream scoop. With homemade ice cream, sometimes the success lies all in the scooping to achieve the creamy consistency we want, instead of little snow forts of icy chunks. Use a long, dragging motion, going over your tracks til you have a nice round ball.
Balsamic Roasted Strawberries with Easy Frozen Yogurt
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 40 min, plus freezing
16 oz / 500 mL plain full-fat Greek yogurt
3 Tbs honey (more or less to taste)
1 Lb / 500 g strawberries, cut in half or quartered if large
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs agave, honey or sugar
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C
Mix together yogurt and honey, drizzling the honey in slowly so it mixes more easily. Pour into a rectangular dish (best for scooping). Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of the container and cover the surface of the yogurt. Put the lid on the container and freeze for at least 30 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes thereafter for a smoother consistency. The yogurt will be ready to eat after an hour.
Mix together berries, vinegar and sweetener in a baking dish. Bake, stirring once, for about 30 minutes, til berries are soft but not completely broken down. Transfer to a bowl to cool, making sure you scoop up all the delicious juices as well as the berries.
To serve, use a good solid ice cream scoop, and let it sit on the counter for ten minutes first. Drag the scoop across the ice cream in long, shallow scoops to form nice round balls. Top with strawberry sauce.