Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

I have this weird habit of doing more than normal amounts of cooking before big life events. The night before I took the SAT for the first time, I was not studying, taking a practice test, or even goofing off with friends. Nope, not me! I was making broccoli soup and chive biscuits. First finals week in college? Stuffed mushrooms and cheesecake-swirled brownies. Month leading up to my wedding? Oh my. Anyway, I think cooking may just be something of a stress response for me. But if cooking tends to cause more stress for you than it relieves, this frozen yogurt is the perfect recipe to have in your repertoire. It takes all of 3 ingredients and 3 minutes to prepare, and yet it is perfectly sweet and tangy and sophisticated all at once. Also, these pictures were taken three days prior to my nuptials, in case you were wondering.

Homemade frozen yogurt is a far cry from the stuff out of a yogurt shop. I’ve never had anything against yogurt shops, but now that I know I can get what tastes like superb, mildly tart cheesecake in soft, frozen form with little more effort than preparing a bowl of cereal, I will never feel the same about by-the-weight dispensed yogurt again.

This recipe is from David Lebovitz’s wonderful book, “The Perfect Scoop.” It does require an ice cream maker, but you can find fairly inexpensive models these days if it’s worth it to you. And oh, it is so worth it. I particularly like this maker because it doesn’t take up loads of space, it’s easy to clean, and I can control exactly how fast or slow I want to churn the ice cream.*

Fun Fact: The amount of air whipped into ice cream is called the overrun. Cheaper ice creams at the store typically have more overrun, or more air whipped into them, which is why they have a light and foamy texture (and also cost less). The more expensive brands, such as Haagen-Dazs, typically have less overrun, which is why their mouthfeel is so much creamier. *This is also why I like to be able to control how much air is whipped into my ice cream at home.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz

3 cups whole milk plain yogurt**

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or longer. Pour into ice cream maker, and freeze according to the instructions for your machine. This yogurt is particularly good topped with fresh fruit or berries sprinkled with sugar.

** Or, since grocery stores sell yogurt in quarts, you could just increase everything here by 1/3…I’m sure no one would mind.

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