Tag Archives: frozen yoghurt

Churn, Baby, Churn! Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

I look outside. The sky is leaden and overbearing, then it starts to lash with rain. Yup, the Great British Summer is well and truly underway, which means we’ve been enjoying the downpour for about a week now. In fact, we enjoyed Midsummer yesterday, with a flash of sun in London, which swiftly turned to cats and dogs.

But ’twas not ever thus…we were all lulled into a false sense of hope with a few weeks of sun earlier in the summer, then – wham! – the rains came, and kept coming. I often find myself wandering around humming that classic Eurythmics track Here Comes the Rain Again. Seems really rather fitting.

However…let us not forget those spectacular sunny days in late spring and early summer that we did enjoy. Why so relevant to us now? Well, it’s more than a mere memory, as it gave all those fields of soft fruit here in Britain a bit of a kick start, so we are now enjoying a bumper crop of sweet, delicious berries. I’ve been ignoring the imports, and heading straight for the fruit from Kent and Sussex.

Last summer, I made a superb strawberry sorbet (and it was superb – not being big headed), so I thought this time I would do a variation on a theme, and make strawberry frozen yoghurt. I love frozen yoghurt, as it is light and refreshing, with a welcome icy tang – perfect for a hot day. Pair this with delicious fruit and it’s a winning combination.

This recipe is one from David Leibovitz, but I pared down the method to make a bit more “mash up the fruit, then whizz in the blender, then freeze”.

So apart from macerating the fruit (the benefits of maceration explained here), it doesn’t need any cooking or messing around with hot sugar syrup. Thus, it’s perfect to make when you’re busy with other things. Plus, the colour is hot pink, so guaranteed to brighten up those rainy days.

To make strawberry frozen yoghurt (adapted from David Leibovitz):

• 450g strawberries(*)
• 130g white sugar
• 2 teaspoons vodka or limoncello
• 240g natural yogurt
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Put the strawberries, sugar and vodka/limoncello in a bowl, and mash roughly. Leave to stand, covered, at room temperature until the sugar has dissolved (at least 30 minutes, but as long as you can manage).

Throw the strawberry mixture, lemon juice and yoghurt in a blender. Blitz until smooth. If you don’t like seeds, pass through a strainer. If you don’t care, just leave them in.

Chill the mixture in the fridge, then freeze according to your ice cream machine.

(*) Weight after removing stalks and any bad bits.

Worth making? Love it. Love it. Love it. Quick, fresh and delicious, cream and tangy – the essence of summer. Love it!

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Filed under Recipe, Sweet Things

On Location: Frae (Islington, London)

Frozen yoghurt. These two simple words usually suggest one thing to me – the frozen “treat” for people on a diet and who seek to deny themselves the pleasures of life. They want ice-cream, but they are settling for a poor substitute. Very LA, some sort of “fun lite”.

I had this thought in my mind when, on a warm Friday afternoon, I passed Frae on Camden Passage in Islington. The store looks quite funky, all whites and lime greens, and is tucked between the cool boutiques and trendy antique stores. What the heck, let’s try it, I thought.

Frae offers plain (“naked”) or green tea flavours, and is vocal about their all-natural product (a good thing) and the fact they are low cal and 100% fat free (less appealing to me – you see why I’ve always through of this as a diet thing?). But the fun part is that you can then pimp your frozen yoghurt with a variety of toppings – fresh fruit, granola, cookies, brownies etc. There was even chopped-up mochi – the most innovative topping I’ve seen for a while by quite some way.

In the end, I played it safe and went for blueberries and blackberries. I got a bit tongue-tied, and my initial request was to blurt out the Scottish terms for each, blaeberries and brambles(*), my Scottish accent drawing a blank from the Aussie behind the counter. I found this all the more amusing given that Frae claims that its name comes from the old Scots word for “from”. Once we finally understood each other, I was able to wander off into the sunshine with my frozen yoghurt forming a lovely peak and studded with ripe fruit. I think I should point out that by the time I took the picture, I had tried it and it had melted a little, but it did originally look picture-perfect.

I have to say, this stuff was good. All my doubts vanished. The reason? Frae’s offering is obviously yoghurt and not a fake ice-cream. It still has a nice, sharp, acidic tang of natural yoghurt and tastes very fresh. I thought the combination with the fresh fruit was absolutely delicious, while also being quite light. I am a person that usually has fruit sorbets in the hot weather, and I can happily see myself eating this. It almost felt healthy, and I suspect it might actually have been good for me. Just a little bit.

Would I go back? Yes! I am definitely a frozen yoghurt convert. I want to try the green tea flavour (after my recently flirtation with making green tea truffles) and just eat more of the plain stuff topped with fruit. I see this as a new summer food – I’ll have it in addition to ice-cream, just don’t ask me to choose between them.

(*) I still instinctively think of fruits and vegetables by the names we called them in Scotland when I was a child, hence to me blackberries are brambles, and blueberries are blaeberries. And what my English friends call swede, I call turnip, and what they call turnip, I call white turnip. Food and culture, eh?

Frae, 27 Camden Passage, London N1 8EA. Tel: 020 7704 6538. Tube: Angel.

LondonEats locations map here.

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Filed under London, On Location