Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

The legend has is (ha!) that the reason this recipe took so long to post is because my darling husband ate the entire first batch before I could photograph it.  He gives an alternate version of the story, so who can you believe?

This recipe came to life after I purchased myself an ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer.  I thought it was a splurge at the time, not so much for the $60 price tag, but rather, the number of times I’d use it to make it worth the price.  It took a single go-round with the new baby to fall head over heels in love – 25 minutes to handcrafted ice cream?  Yes, please.  Having ice cream in the house so easily didn’t prove an issue for me – I tend to do well with a spoon or two to satiate my cravings (don’t worry, I wholly make up for it with mountains of pasta and acres of crusty bread).  In the case of my husband, though, having that much homemade goodness in the house was pure danger.  Plus, the darn thing made quarts at a time, and not pints.  It was all too much.

I turned to fat-free yogurt and fresh strawberries as a way out – straining the liquid from the yogurt to make it creamier and adding fragrant lemon zest and vanilla bean managed to brighten the goodness into decadence.  And clearly (!) the final product was no less than a success – the first batch didn’t even make it to the camera before disappearing.  Because I use honey is this recipe, this yogurt is best eaten shortly after preparing to preserve the texture. It hasn’t really been a problem in our house, though, eating it all right away.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

1 lb. of strawberries
1/3 c. of honey
1/4 c. of splenda
1 quart of fat-free yogurt
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon

Hull the strawberries and dice into small chunks. Mix with the honey and splenda and refrigerate.

Line a fine sieve with a few paper towels and pour in the yogurt. Set the sieve over a bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, if not overnight.

Pour the strained yogurt into a bowl and discard the liquid that has drained off. Pour in the liquid that has formed around the strawberries into the yogurt. Set the strawberry chunks aside. Mix the vanilla extract and lemon zest into the yogurt. Lastly, split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the black paste into the yogurt. Save the pods for another use. Mix the yogurt mixture well and turn out into an ice cream maker. Allow to churn following the manufacturer’s directions. In the last few minutes of cooling, add the strawberry chunks. Once finished, turn out into a container and freeze for 20-30 minutes to allow to solidify. Serve.