Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Peach & Caramel Frozen Yogurt

It seems that every time I make a new batch of ice cream I manage to decrease the cream and fat content little by little. At this rate I'll be feeding my husband a bowl of ice and trying to convince him it's a delicious homemade frozen delicacy within the month. Only joking, although one of my main motivations for breaking down and buying an ice cream maker was so I could make lower fat versions of ice cream. I'm always on a quest to find ways my husband and I can eat more healthily while still indulging in dessert. The first batch I made was delicious but it was also far too full of cream and fat. A good way to christen the ice cream maker but not something I intend to make regularly.

When I discovered that I not only had a bunch of ripe peaches on the counter but also a large container of plain yogurt near expiration I began searching for the perfect peach frozen yogurt recipe. I found a few that looked promising and eventually settled on the simplest one involving only peaches, yogurt, water, and sugar. To make it even easier on myself (ok, ok, and because I didn't read the directions closely enough) I wound up dumping everything into a saucepan, heated until the peaches were soft enough to mash, and didn't bother blending the mixture in a food processor for smoothness. I'd prefer to have chunks of peaches visible and even left the skins on the peaches because I actually like that fuzzy covering. Because I used fat free yogurt I substituted half and half for some of the water and because I had some peach simple syrup left over I poured that in and decreased the sugar a bit to compensate.

I also had some caramel left over so I poured that in while I was transferring the frozen yogurt from the ice cream maker to the container. I know my husband well enough to predict that he'd never remember to add the caramel sauce himself to each bowl so better to mix it in. That way he can't miss it!

The end result is tasty but surprisingly hard. My husband may have to invest in a chisel to get his next serving out of the freezer. Not sure if this is what one should always expect to get with homemade frozen yogurt or if it's all due to my fat-free yogurt substitution. I'm not ready to go with full fat yogurt but next time I'll try upping the fat content a little and maybe even try the trick of adding a dash of vodka to the mix since alcohol doesn't freeze. It's still edible but requires a little planning ahead since it needs to sit out to soften.

Peach Frozen Yogurt
Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop

Makes about 3 cups

4 medium peaches, roughly chopped (skins on or off)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons peach simple syrup (optional, if you omit use 3/4 cup sugar above)
1 cup plain yogurt

Dump all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium low heat, covered, stirring occasionally until peaches are soft, about 5 minutes. Thoroughly mash with a potato masher or fork and continue to cook another 3-5 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and cool in refrigerator overnight.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When transferring churned frozen yogurt from ice cream maker to freezer container, drizzle caramel between layers.

Recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature

1) Melt the sugar over medium heat in a large pot. With a wooden spoon, stir the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color.

2) Add the butter and salt and stir it in until melted.

3) Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Peach Simple Syrup
Adapted from Cook's Recipes

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 small peach, roughly chopped

In a saucepan combine sugar, water, corn syrup and peach pieces. Heat over high heat, and once the peaches are softened a bit mash with a potato masher or fork. Heat to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer syrup, undisturbed, 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour syrup through a fine sieve, pressing on solids. Cool at room temperature.

Note: This recipe makes much more than you'll actually need. Syrup keeps, covered, in the refrigerator for weeks.