Serves 6 to 8 (Makes about 1 quart)
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS This fro yo boasts a wonderfully creamy, smooth texture as well as the distinctively tangy flavor of its namesake ingredient. Many recipes require nothing more than throwing yogurt, sugar, and flavorings into an ice cream maker and churning. Unfortunately, the results turn out icy and rock-hard. That’s because frozen yogurt doesn’t have egg yolks or cream, both of which give ice cream proportionally more fat and less water. With more water in yogurt, ice crystals are more likely to form. So, for creamy, smooth frozen yogurt, we found the answer in draining regular yogurt, and then mixing a small amount of gelatin into a portion of the drained liquid and stirring it back into the yogurt. The gelatin worked so well that we didn’t need to take special measures when freezing the fro yo. But as with our ice cream, swapping some of the granulated sugar for a small amount of invert sugar syrup raised the freezing point, making it more stable for home-freezer storage. We prefer the lightly caramelized flavor and texture of Lyle’s Golden Syrup here, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute light corn syrup. This recipe requires draining the yogurt for 8 to 12 hours. Any brand of regular whole-milk yogurt will work, but do not substitute Greek yogurt; its higher protein content will result in chalky, crumbly frozen yogurt.
1 quart plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup ⅛ teaspoon table salt
1 Line colander or fine-mesh strainer with triple layer of cheesecloth and place over large bowl or measuring cup. Place yogurt in colander, cover with plastic wrap (plastic should not touch yogurt), and refrigerate until 1¼ cups whey have drained from yogurt, at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours. (If more than 1¼ cups whey drains from yogurt, simply stir extra back into yogurt.)
2 Discard ¾ cup drained whey. Sprinkle gelatin over remaining ½ cup whey in bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, about 30 seconds. Let cool for 5 minutes. In large bowl, whisk sugar, syrup, salt, drained yogurt, and cooled whey-gelatin mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until yogurt mixture registers 40 degrees or less.
3 Churn yogurt mixture in ice cream maker until mixture resembles thick soft-serve frozen yogurt and registers about 21 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer frozen yogurt to airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Serve. (Frozen yogurt can be stored for up to 5 days.)
Premium Orange Frozen Yogurt
Substitute ½ cup orange juice for ½ cup whey in step 2. Stir ½ teaspoon grated orange zest into orange juice–gelatin mixture as soon as it is removed from microwave.
Premium Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Substitute ¾ cup strawberry puree for ½ cup whey in step 2.