Root Beer Float Ice Cream

In the last month or so, I have seen this root beer float ice cream make an appearance on a few of my friend’s blogs.  I finally decided that I had to make it, like now, but I didn’t have the root beer extract.  I figured that would be easy enough to pick up at the grocery store, you know, by all the other extracts.  SO WRONG!  I went to Target, Dominick’s and Jewel.  They didn’t have it.  I asked my friends where they got it and they said Wal-Mart…so I went to Wal-Mart and you know what?  No stinkin’ root beer extract.  More determined now than ever, I thought maybe it was Super Wal-Mart.  So, I went to one in the next town over, approached the baking section and scanned through the first shelf of extracts.  None yet.  I was getting anxious as I scanned the next shelf and stopped at ROOT BEER EXTRACT!!  I was so excited.  Funny how something so silly can make me so happy. 😀  Okay, I know last week I made pumpkin bread to celebrate fall and now, here I am making ice cream.  WTH right?  Well see, ice cream isn’t seasonal to me.  I eat ice cream just about everyday, no matter how cold it is outside. And, here in Chicago, it gets pretty darn cold.

So, now that I finally had the extract, I pulled out the recipe and saw that it had 2 raw eggs.  Boo.  That’s why I should read recipes first.  Now I was a bit nervous for the kids to eat it.  Although, I’m not sure why.  I have eaten tons of raw cookie dough, brownie and cake batters, you name it, I’ve eaten it….and I’m still here.  Anyways, I decided it would be a good idea to make a cooked custard base.  So, I went to the ice cream bible, The Perfect Scoop, and saw that his cooked recipe was almost the same as the original recipe, except for 6 yolks instead of 2 whole eggs and it added a vanilla bean.  Well, vanilla bean is never a bad addition.  The only problem with a cooked base is that you have to use a water bath and wait for it to cool.  Nuts.  Waiting to taste a new dessert is not my strong suit 😀  Once the base was chilled, I poured it into the ice cream maker and about 20 minutes later I had to taste it.  I was promptly busted by the kids, so they each had to have a taste.  They loved it!  Alex kept circling me with his mouth open like a little baby bird.  But really, what’s not to love here?  A creamy frozen custard base with vanilla bean and root beer extract, creating the perfect all-in-one root beer float.  Sometimes I have such high hopes for a recipe, and then I am let down by the results.  Not this time….

Root Beer Float Ice Cream

1 cup (250mL) whole milk

¾ cup (150g) sugar

2 cups (500mL) heavy cream, divided

Pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

6 large egg yolks

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon root beer extract     I used Watkins

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the warmed milk and add in the used vanilla bean.  Cover the pan and remove from heat.  Let the mixture sit to steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and set a fine mesh strainer on top.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the  egg yolks until smooth.  Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the bowl of egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Scrape the entire mixture back into the saucepan.  On medium heat,  stir constantly with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer, into the bowl with the cream and stir.  Pull the vanilla bean out of the strainer and put it back into the custard.  Add the vanilla extract and root beer extract.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.  Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is completely chilled.  Make sure to take out the vanilla bean before churning.  Freeze the chilled base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Source:  inspiration from What’s Cookin Chicago (also seen on Eva Bakes, Jenna’s Cooking Journey and The Jey of Cooking) and the ice cream base from The Perfect Scoop (David Lebovitz)

Note: 

Most of the photos of this ice cream show it is brown in color.  As you can see, mine was not.  It was more of a creamy, light yellow. I’m guessing it was because of the extra egg yolks in my base or maybe a variance in the brand of root beer extract

Strawberry Soda Ice Cream

This month for What’s Baking, the theme “Something that reminds you of your favorite place” was chosen by Joanna at Newlywed and Newly Cooking.  I couldn’t really think of a particular favorite place, but really, anywhere I am with my family is a favorite place. 😀  This summer I went strawberry picking at Stade Farm with my daughter, my son, some of their friends and their moms.  It was a perfect day.  It wasn’t too hot, we filled our baskets with strawberries, and the kids (and moms) had a blast.  We love to eat strawberries, but no matter how quickly we eat them, they always go bad.  So, I made some strawberry frozen yogurt that night.  The next day they were looking like they were already starting to turn. I quickly washed them, cut all the leaves off- which took forever because they were tiny little berries, and I froze them to use another day.

When I made the Milky Way ice cream last week, I saw this recipe for strawberry soda ice cream, another prize winner.  I had the frozen strawberries, but I didn’t have any Big Red soda (or pop, whatever you like to call it).  In fact, I’ve never even heard of it.  I was able to find a big 2 liter bottle at Jewel. When I got home, I just had to try this crazy looking red cream soda.  I thought it tasted a bit like bubble gum, so I don’t think I would drink it straight up, but my son loved it.  This is a really easy ice cream to make, if your kids aren’t picky like mine.  You just mash the berries and whisk all the ingredients in a bowl.  But, because my kids don’t like fruit in their ice cream, nor seeds, I blended the mixture and ran it through a sieve.  Once you make the base, you just let the machine do the rest.  One taste of the sweet, pretty pink strawberry ice cream brought me right back to the perfect day we had at Stade Farm. Don’t you just love how food can do that?

Strawberry soda ice cream

1  14oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups half and half

3/4 cup red cream soda (Big Red) or regular cream soda

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and mashed

Whisk the condensed milk, half and half, red cream soda, whipping cream and mashed strawberries in a medium bowl.

I poured this mixture into my blender and ran it through a fine strainer.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.  I find it best to freeze ice cream containing condensed milk overnight to really get firm enough to hold its shape.

Source:  Food Network July/August 2012

Milky Way Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

I have a bit of an obsession with cooking magazines, subscribing to at least a dozen.  Besides Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated, one of my favorites is the Food Network Magazine.  In the July/August edition, they featured winning recipes from Austin’s Annual Ice Cream Festival.  They all looked delicious with fun ingredients like cream soda, bacon, candy bars and cinnamon oil.  It was hard to choose which to make first.  Well, maybe not too hard since there was a chocolate ice cream in the bunch.  You know I had to start there.

My kids had stayed at their Gramma’s for the night and wouldn’t be home until dinnertime.  I thought I would surprise them with this chocolate ice cream made from Milky Way bars. Fun right?  You melt the Milky Ways down with condensed milk, adding milk and half and half to create the base.  Now the recipe says that chocolate syrup is optional.   But, adding more chocolate to a recipe should never be optional.  Add it. 😀 After churning the base in an ice cream maker, the texture reminds me of a Wendy’s Frosty.  It kind of tastes like one too, but with a hint of caramel.

This recipe uses only 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk.  Ugh. I hate to waste food. Although I would have loved to just eat it right from the can, I thought better of it, and decided to look for a recipe.  On the Eagle Brand website, I found a recipe for hot fudge sauce. I figured if I make half a recipe, I could use half a can of milk and have a delicious sauce for my ice cream. Perfect.

Now what kid wouldn’t want to come home to a big glass filled with Milky Way flavored ice cream, topped with hot fudge sauce and more Milky Way pieces on top?  I’m gonna go with none. 😀

Milky Way Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

4 oz Milky Way candy bars, chopped   (two 2 oz bars)

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whole milk

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup chocolate syrup  optional

Melt the candy bars and condensed milk in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not let the bowl touch the water).  Stir until smooth.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Whisk in the milk, half-and-half and chocolate syrup. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.  I ran my base through a sieve because I saw a few small pieces of unmelted nougat.

Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer directions.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.  I found it really to take overnight for a firmer texture.

Source:  Food Network Magazine (Collin Hazlet)

Hot Fudge Sauce (this is 1/2 of the original recipe)

1/2 cup (3 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 (7 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk, butter and water in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium heat. Beat smooth with wire whisk. Stir in vanilla.

Serve warm over ice cream or as fruit dipping sauce. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator; reheat to serve.

To Reheat: Combine desired amount of sauce with small amount of water in small heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until heated through.

Source:  Eagle Brand

Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard Pops

One of Jack’s and Sammie’s favorite places to have lunch is at Culver’s.  They like the fries and the chicken fingers alright, but they are really there for the free frozen custard that comes with a kid’s meal.  I can’t blame them. It really is delicious.  Because of all the extra egg yolks, frozen custard tastes so much more rich and flavorful than regular ice cream.  Though, you know I would never turn down ice cream. 😀

I was so excited when I found this recipe for frozen custard in a popsicle form.  Brilliant!  I love the addition of vanilla bean not only for flavor, but also for the visual.  I mean, who doesn’t love those little black vanilla bean specks?  When my husband tried them, he said they reminded him of the vanilla pudding pops we went crazy for as kids.  You remember, Bill Cosby?  Justin wondered how many there were because he was seriously going to eat them all.  Tonight.  Sorry, but the recipe only made 7 and we ate 3 before you came home from work.  No worries though. I’ll make more.

Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard Pops

Yield: 10 pops (I got 7)

2 cups (16 fl oz/500ml) whole milk, divided 

1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks

3/4 cup (6oz/185g) sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

In a heavy saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups milk and the cornstarch.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, ~ 7 to 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the last 1/2 cup of milk, the whole egg and the yolks, sugar and salt.  Using a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean halves into the bowl and then add the halves.  Stirring constantly, add the egg mixture to the thickened milk mixture.  Cook, whisking constantly, over med-high heat until the mixture returns to a boil.  Remove from heat.

Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, then cool over an ice bath.

If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture among the molds.  Cover and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.  If using sticks, insert them into the molds when they are part frozen, about 1 hour.  Then continue to freeze until solid, about 5 more hours.

Source:  Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats

Triple Citrus Bars

Back in April, I made key lime pie bars and I loved them so much, I ate most of them myself (almost half while taking the pictures). Embarrased smile At the bottom of the recipe, there was a variation for triple citrus bars that also sounded delicious, but I didn’t have the lemons and oranges.  So, I stuck with the lime and bookmarked these to make some other time.   Tonight we had a bunch of people over for a Burbs viewing party (how awesome is that?) and so I made the “god damn brownies”, Baked of course.  I thought these citrus bars would be the perfect non-chocolate dessert to serve with the super rich fudgy brownies. And, that way, I couldn’t eat them all this time.

These bars are really easy to make.  The hardest and most time consuming part is collecting up all the zest and all the juice.  But, I loved the contrast of the tartness from the lime and lemon with the sweetness from the orange.  The flecks of orange, green and yellow zest looked so pretty against the cream colored base.  So, it is well worth the effort.  I really enjoyed the animal cracker crust as opposed to the usual graham cracker. Its more neutral flavor really allows the citrus flavors to sing.  Then you have the creaminess from the condensed milk.  Mmmm…condensed milk.  Am I the only one that could eat a can of this stuff with a spoon?

I’m sure you have had lemon bars a million times.  And, they are delicious, one of my favorites.  But, next time you have a taste for citrus…change things up a bit and try these triple citrus bars. You won’t be sorry.

Triple Citrus Bars

Yield: 8 x 8 pan (9 to 16 bars depending on how you cut them)

For the crust:

5 oz animal crackers

3 tablespoons  brown sugar

pinch salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Filling:

2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest

pinch salt

1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 large egg yolk

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with 2 pieces of foil perpendicular to each other, leaving overhang on all 4 sides.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

For the crust:  Pulse animal crackers in the food processor until broken down, ~ 10 pulses. Process the crumbs until evenly fine, about 10 seconds (you should have about 1 1/4 cups crumbs). Add brown sugar and salt; process to combine, 10 – 12 pulses (if large sugar lumps remain, break them apart with fingers). Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened, ~ 10 pulses. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Do not turn off oven.

For the filling:  While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zests, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add the condensed milk and whisk vigorously until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain.  Whisk in the egg yolk. Add the 3 juices and whisk gently until incorporated (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust; spread to the corners and smooth the surface with rubber spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.

To serve, loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil extensions. Cut the bars into 16 squares.  Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 2 days; the crust will soften slightly. Let the bars stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.

Source:  More Best Recipes

Classic Fudgesicles

Just like their mother, my children adore anything with chocolate.  They have also been loving the popsicles I have been making lately.  So, I wanted to combine the two and make fudgesicles.  But I kept on forgetting to buy malted milk powder.  Dang, I used to have the memory of an elephant and I still do when it comes to drugs…kind of important for a pharmacist.  😀  But, when it comes to everyday stuff, geez, unless it is written down, I won’t remember it.  Then, I also have to keep track of that list because I tend to lose it too.  When I was grocery shopping, chocolate syrup was on the list (I have a recipe for homemade, but I was too lazy and still sick) and the malted milk powder, although not on the list, was right next to it and somehow I remembered that I needed it for these pops.

Jack and Sammie were so excited as I made the fudge mixture before they left for a day at the children’s museum with my husband.  I promised them that they would be ready when they got home.  After the museum, my husband took them out for dinner and then ice cream.  Jack and Sammie both said they didn’t want any ice cream because they wanted the fudgesicles mom made.  They knew the chances of them getting two desserts was slim.  But, it was their lucky day.  Ice cream and fudgesicles for dessert!  We have to spoil them once in awhile.  Through chocolate covered lips (and chin and cheeks), Sammie told me that I did a great job and that they were perfect.  High compliments from my 5 year old.  Now, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Classic Fudgesicles

Yield: 6 to 9 ice pops

1 3/4 cups (14 fl oz/430mL) half and half

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbsp malted milk powder

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 oz (125g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a saucepan, combine half and half, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, and cook until the cocoa and malted milk powder have completely dissolved.  Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate.  Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let cool to room temperature.

If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture among the molds.  Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.  If using sticks, insert them into the molds when they are part frozen, about 1 hour.  Then continue to freeze until solid, about 3 more hours.

Source:  Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats

Note:  These aren’t real sweet.  If you prefer a sweeter pop, you can add a bit of sugar (to taste) to the hot cocoa mixture.  Superfine would dissolve best.  My daughter and I thought the sweetness was fine, but my son would have liked it a bit sweeter.  It didn’t stop him from eating the whole thing though faster than either of us did.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

I totally fell in love with this strawberry frozen yogurt this summer.  So when I had some leftover blueberries I decided a blueberry version would be delicious.  Hmmm…but, where to get a recipe?  Well, if it is ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, basically anything frozen, then you turn to The Perfect Scoop for the recipe.  If you didn’t already know, you can trust me on this.  David Lebovitz is the master.
I love that this is a no-cook recipe that contains, 1,2,3,4,5 ingredients.  Just five. Nothing weird or scientific sounding.  Nope, just regular household stuff so you don’t have to feel so bad about indulging in this treat.  The base is easily prepared in the blender and then frozen in your ice cream maker.  I was blown away by the gorgeous color of this ice cream. I love pretty food. 😀   Then when you get past the color and taste it, you won’t believe how unbelievably bold the fresh blueberry flavor is.  Delicious.
This month Jaida at Sweet Beginnings is hosting What’s Baking and the theme is summer fruits.  This ice cream is the perfect way to highlight the sweetness of blueberries when in season and cool down maybe just a bit during this crazy hot summer.
Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
Makes 1 quart
1 1/2 cups (360 g) plain whole-milk yogurt   (You can sub Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 cups (340g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tsp kirsch    I used vodka
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a blender or food processor, blend together the yogurt, sugar, and blueberries.  Press the mixture through a strainer to remove as much of the seeds as you can.  Don’t skip this step or the texture will be gritty. Stir in the kirsch and lemon juice.  Chill the base for 1 hour.
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you’d like it richer, sub in 1 1/2 cups (360g) of Greek Yogurt.

Pink Lemonade Popsicles

Jack’s and Sammie’s favorite summertime drink is pink lemonade.  So, when I saw these pops, I knew that they would love them.  Especially on a day like today, where here in Chicago, we got to enjoy a high of 99 degrees. Ugh. Crazy hot.  So, we decided to stay inside and have a Disney movie marathon, complete with snacks and refreshments, including these delicious pops.

Luckily, this time, I was able to obtain both lemon zest and lemon juice without any injury. 😀  I then blended the juice and zest with the sugar to make the lemonade concentrate.   I diluted the lemon mixture with water and then added a few strawberries for flavor and for color.  While the recipe doesn’t say to strain the liquid, I ran it through a sieve, knowing Jack and Sammie would not like the seeds.  Although the Vitamix takes care of most of the seeds, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  In other words, heading off any complaints of “Yuck. I hate seeds.”  After waiting 4 hours for your pops to freeze, just one taste and you will fall in love the lemon pucker and unexpected hint of strawberry flavor.  Jack and Sammie loved the pops.  They each gave them a sky high thumbs up, the highest rating at our house. 😀

Pink lemonade popsicles

Yield: 9 to 11 pops (I got 8)

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1/2 cup (4fl oz/125 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

1/2 cup (3.5 oz/105 grams) plus 2 Tbsp superfine sugar

2 fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled

pinch of salt

In a blender or food processor, combine the lemon zest and juice and sugar.  Pour in 1 3/4 cups (14oz/430mL) of water.  Add the strawberries and salt and blend until the mixture is smooth and pink.  I strained the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and removed the froth from the top with a spoon.

If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture among the molds.  Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.  If using sticks, insert them into the molds when they are part frozen, about 1 hour.  Then continue to freeze until solid, about 3 more hours.

If using an instant ice pop maker (Zoku), follow the instructions to fill and freeze.

Source:  Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats.

Root Beer Float Popsicles

As you might have guessed…yep, it’s still too hot to bake today 😀   Actually, let me clarify that.  I got up early this morning to make cheesecake swirl blondies.  But, they turned out more like a bland, thick cake with a cheesecake mess on top.  Yuck.  So, technically, it was too hot to bake again 😀  Oh, well.  Sometimes failure leads you to better things.  Things like root beer float popsicles.   When I decided to make the cookies and cream popsicles the other day, this choice was a very close second.  So, I decided to give these a try.  After all, one of my family’s favorite beat the Chicago summer heat treats is a root beer float.  My kids love it because  it is one of the rare occasions that they get to indulge in a soda.  They always mix it together immediately into a thick root beer float milkshake.  Not me.  I prefer to take a small scoop from the ice cream and fill the rest of the spoon with soda and then eat it, spoonful by spoonful.  However you eat them, root beer floats are simply delicious.

Most recipes I see for root beer float pops are just root beer layered with vanilla ice cream.  Good, but not great.  How do you make them great?  You make homemade vanilla custard to layer with the root beer.  It is really easy and so worth the extra effort.  Don’t worry about the egg yolks.  Even if they do get a little bit scrambled, you can strain the custard and it will still be perfect.   The only downside is that it does take some time because you have to freeze between each layer so they don’t all run together.  And, though they would still taste delicious, and I know Jack and Sammie wouldn’t care, I would! 😀

So, the next time you have a hankering for a root beer float, go on and ditch the mugs and make these fun pops instead.

Root Beer Float Popsicles

Yield: 12 to 14 pops

1 cup (8 fl oz/250mL) heavy cream

1 cup (8fl oz/250mL) whole milk

4 large egg yolks

1/3 cup (3oz/90g) sugar

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

2 cups (16 fl oz/500mL) root beer  – Open at least 30 minutes before using.  I used IBC

In a heavy saucepan over med-high heat, warm the cream and milk until the mixture just comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes.  In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt until the mixture doubles in volume, 2 minutes.  Slowly pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1 to 2 minutes.  Do not boil.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and cool completely over an ice bath.  I skipped the sieve since my custard mixture looked smooth. 

If using conventional ice pop molds, fill the mold 1/4 full with the vanilla custard and freeze until partially frozen, about 30 minutes.  Pour in the root beer, filling the molds until they are half full, and again, freeze until partially frozen, about 30 minutes.  Pour in the remaining vanilla custard, filling until the molds are 3/4 full.  I had custard left.  If using sticks, insert them into the molds and freeze until almost completely solid, about 1 hour.  Fill the molds with the remaining root beer.  Cover and freeze until solid, at least 2.5 hours or up to 3 days. (It is not recommended to use carbonated beverages in instant ice pop makers like Zokus).

Source:  Ice Pops:  Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Last fall, when we went apple picking my daughter asked if we could go strawberry picking next.  I wasn’t so sure it would be easy to find a place when we live in the Chicago suburbs.  But, after looking a bit online, I found a place called Stade Farm in McHenry, about 45 minutes from where we live.  Thank goodness they have a newsletter to subscribe to because there is no way I was going to remember this come June and I’d totally miss it.  I was so excited when I got an email that the berries were ready to be picked on Saturday.  But, my son had a baseball game, so we’d have to wait until Sunday.  Then I get an email on Saturday night that all the berries had been picked and wouldn’t be ready again for at least 5 days.  Ugh!  We were so disappointed.  But, it worked out for the best because I talked some of the moms from Sammie’s preschool into coming with us the following week.  So, that was much more fun with all the kids so excited to be there and trying to pick the most strawberries or the biggest ones.   We had perfect weather and everyone had a blast.  On the way out, in true Kim fashion, I realized that my car key fell out of my pocket somewhere in the field.  Well, this is a major problem, as you can imagine,  for many reasons.   The fields were large, they could have been buried in the plants, if I couldn’t find them my house is 45 minutes away and I’m not even sure where the spare is.  Thank goodness when I asked at the register if someone had turned in my keys, an employee was just bringing them in.  Phew!!  Major, major disaster averted.  I am never this lucky.

Jack will always smile for me, Sammie usually not.

The strawberries were pretty small, but super sweet.  We ended up with about 7 pounds.  Since strawberries don’t last very long, I was trying to figure out what to do with them.  Then I remembered seeing this strawberry frozen yogurt recipe on Eva Bakes and thought my kids would love it.   It is just 5 ingredients.  How great is that, especially compared to some of the ice cream you buy at the store.  Here’s the rare occasion where I can actually say that I made something healthy.  Mark your calendars, you probably won’t see this again for awhile. 😀   The color of this ice cream is amazing and it tastes so intensely of fresh strawberries, it’s unbelievable.  I don’t make ice cream very often because I have found that any time I make it with heavy cream, though it tastes good, my husband and I notice a weird film in our mouths.  I can’t figure out why that is so if anyone has any ideas, I would love to know because I love ice cream.  But, this recipe uses yogurt instead, so I didn’t have that problem.  In late August, raspberries will be available for picking at the farm.  We are already so excited to go and I think I have an idea of what to do with them.  Raspberry frozen yogurt anyone???

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Yield:  About 1 quart

1 pound (450g) strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
optional: 2 teaspoons vodka or kirsh   I omitted and added a splash a vanilla instead
1 cup (240g) plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Slice the strawberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and vodka or kirsch (if using) until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.   Stir every so often.

Transfer the strawberries and their juice to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. If you wish, press mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.  I strained it.

Chill for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Source:  David Lebovitz via Eva Bakes

How cute are these strawberries?

How cute are these strawberries?

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