Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt

>> Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This recipe needs little introduction.
I've been teasing you with photos for a week.
Sorry about that.

It all started with a generous offer from my friend Aynsley. She and her family were going away for the week and their backyard cherry tree was ripe for the picking. Of course, I couldn't turn up the awesome opportunity to grab my step-ladder and head over there straight away.

Free (super, 1-mile away) local + organic cherries? Yes, please!

But what to make?

I think we picked about 5 cups in all. I tooled with baking a pie or making muffins. I forgot my bag in the car and stepped outside for a few minutes. Quickly I realized I didn't want to bake at all. Nope, nope. It was hot, muggy, and gross.

Perfect weather to continue my frozen treat trend.

I pitted the cherries one by one, probably not in the most efficient way. Still, it went much faster than I had expected. I licked my drippy, sticky juice-covered fingers off. After some cooking, mixing, and chilling -- this happened:


What you'll need . . . 
  • 3 cups fresh (preferably tart) cherries
  • 3 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 32 ounces low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk*

* I imagine if you want to stay with the low-fat theme, you could use reduced fat coconut milk. All we had was the real stuff. And I'm not talking the kind in the refrigerated section -- use the canned kind that's nice + thick.

Method . . .

  1. Pit your cherries, then place them in a small saucepan -- along with the sugar -- over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil (stay nearby, as it might boil over if you're not careful!). Lower the heat to a strong simmer and continue stirring + mashing nearly constantly until mixture has reduced to a jam-like consistency. 15 minutes or so. 
  2. Let cool until just warm, not hot. Then, in a large bowl, mix (I used a whisk) together all the ingredients. Chill for 3 hours -- covered, in the refrigerator. 
  3. Then prepare according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Ours instructed us to pour in the mixture and let churn for 30 minutes. Then we let it freeze in an airtight shallow container for another 6 hours. 
  4. Let sit out of the freezer for around 10 minutes before scooping. Sometimes, depending on the temperature of your freezer, the frozen yogurt is hard as a rock. Don't worry, it softens.

I could hardly wait for the entire settling process before I dipped my ice cream scoop into the dish. (Which, by the way, some of you were asking what we use to freeze our frozen yogurt. I've been using a 8 x 8 glass baking dish covered with tin foil.)

If you don't have an ice cream maker, there are a few kinds to choose from. You can get one that hooks right onto your KitchenAid mixer -- the Ice Cream Maker Attachment makes up to 2 quarts at a time. If you don't have a mixer, check out this economical Cuisinart Frozen Dessert Maker.

Again -- even if you don't have a fancy machine, you can enjoy frozen desserts of your own making. Try out our Frozen Banana Bites (and the new FAQs about them) or even my favorite Ultimate Vegan Banana Ice Cream recipe.

Have I convinced you to make your own ice cream yet?

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