Lemon Frozen Yogurt

Do you love something super rich, super creamy, that has a tangy yogurt bursting with an electrifying scent of tart lemon? If so, you will love this Lemon Frozen Yogurt!

There is nothing more refreshing than a bowl of it! A little bit of heaven for sure!

Have you ever heard of Jenis ice cream? She has been making ice cream since 1996 and now has eight
stores in Ohio. She has everything from wild berry lavender to sweet potato with torched marshmallows.

She has written a new book Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and you can make your very own ice creams just like hers!

Can we talk a little science? You know when you make homemade ice cream and put it in the freezer overnight. The next day when you go to get a bowl, you have these ice crystals?

Well, you don’t get that with Jenis ice cream. Her ice creams are smooth and they stay that way. The reason is the water!

Water is either with you or against you when it comes to making ice creams. It’s with you when you have perfectly balanced ingredients that cause water molecules to bind with the proteins, starches, sugars, and fats. It’s against you when it roams “unbound” in the mix, leaving you with icy or soggy homemade ice cream..

We don’t think of water when we think of ice cream, right? We think of milk. Well, milk is almost 90 percent water. Water will bind to fats, proteins, sugars, and starches – but reluctantly. Free unbound water will become coarse, crunchy ice crystals. Any liquid you add to your ice cream contains water, from milk and honey to berry purees and beer.

You will see in this Lemon Frozen Yogurt how Jeni minimizes the water by draining the yogurt and boiling her frozen yogurt base and adding cornstarch to thicken the mixture.

She also adds corn syrup and cream cheese to achieve the creaminess in her delicious ice creams!

Lemon Frozen Yogurt

Makes a generous 1 quart

Frozen Yogurt Base

  • 1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • Zest from 1 lemon (reserved from below)

Lemon Syrup

  • 2 to 3 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

ADVANCE PREP

For the frozen yogurt base:

Fit a sieve over a bowl and line it with two coffee filters.

Pour the yogurt into the sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours to drain. Discard the liquid (you will be amazed at how much water drained out into the bowl)!

Measure out 1 1/4 cups of the drained yogurt; set aside.

PREP

For the lemon syrup:

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest in large strips from 1 lemon; reserve for the frozen yogurt (leave the lemon zest in large strips so it’s easier to strain out later).

Juice enough of the lemons to make 1/2 cup.

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool.

For the frozen yogurt base:

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest in a 4-quart saucepan (make sure it is 4-quart or it will boil over).

Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes (set a timer). Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. (Be sure and stir the slurry before adding because it will have settled to the bottom of the bowl).

Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minutes. Remove from the heat.

CHILL

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved 1 1/4 cups yogurt and the lemon syrup and whisk until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Flatten to get all the air out and make sure it is sealed good.

Submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath.

Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE

Remove the zest from the frozen yogurt base.

Pour the frozen yogurt base into the ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

This ice cream does take a little time – but OH! so worth it!

Jeni also makes a Lemon and Blueberry Frozen Yogurt.

As you pack the frozen yogurt into the storage container, alternate it with layers of Blueberry Sauce (recipe below). End with a spoonful of sauce; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Blueberry Sauce

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Mix the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are tender and the sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, then refrigerate until cold before using.

Enjoy this delicious Frozen Lemon Yogurt and add the blueberry sauce if you like!

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