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Lychee Frozen Yogurt

Posted by Amie / May 3, 2010

Lychee Frozen YogurtIt's trying to be nice outside, and that means dreams of ice cream and sunny days spent outdoors, at least until the game starts and you want to be inside near the screen. Bilboquet and Havres aux Glaces are both great glaciers, but it's so easy to make your own frozen treats, no ice cream machine required. This way you can use your favourite yogurt or cream and decide how sweet you want it to be. For this recipe all you need are some cans of lychees, some sugar, some yogurt of your choice, and a blender, and your freezer will soon be full of home-made lychee frozen yogurt.

2 cans of lychees, drained and juice reserved
3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste (or agave nectar - see Tip B)
1 cup plain yogurt (regular or soy)

1. Blend the lychees, sugar and yogurt in a blender or food processor and pour into ice cube trays or a resealable plastic freezer bag. Place the trays or the bag flat in the freezer. If you use a bag instead of ice cream trays remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it, and flatten the bag to spread out the lychee mixture before laying it flat in the freezer.
2. Let the lychee mixture harden. This depends on your freezer, but usually takes at least 6 hours. Then break up the frozen pieces and pour them back into the blender or food processor. Process again until smooth (see Tip G) and then pour into your ice cream container of choice (plastic yogurt container or freezer-safe tupperware. No glass) to stick back into the freezer to refreeze.
3. Let the frozen yogurt harden for at least 2 more hours, and then scoop or scrape into a dish or a cone to serve.

Tips and Variations on a Theme
A. You can use any yogurt for this recipe, but depending on the brand it's probably better to use one that isn't fat-free. The higher fat versions will be creamier and naturally sweeter, so you won't need as much sugar.

B. You can replace the sugar with a mild honey or agave nectar. Or another sugar substitute like stevia, xylitol, or beet sugar.

C. You can use other kinds of pureed fruit, like raspberries or bananas (this one kind of ends up tasting like banana kids medicine. Some people love it) and adjust the sugar level to your tastes. If you don't want the skin of the substitute fruit to wreck the smooth texture of the frozen yogurt, put it through a sieve after pureeing, or peel the fruit before processing.

D. You can add cocoa powder and make this chocolatey...or vanilla extract to make a traditional vanilla frozen yogurt.
Banana SherbetBanana Frozen Yogurt

E. You can add rum or other liqueurs, just make sure the alcohol works with the fruit (rum and bananas or oranges, melon liqueur and honeydew melons, lychee liqueur for the lychees)

F. The frozen yogurt might be hard to scrape when it's fully frozen, so you can let it warm up a bit on the counter before scraping, like any grocery store ice cream.

G. You might need to scrape down the sides of your blender or food processor to get the mixture to process fully at first or break up and re-process in Step 2. To do this, make sure the food processor is OFF before sticking a utensil down into it. I've broken wooden spoons and torn rubber spatulae that way. Please, please, please don't try it with metal.

H. The sorbet is really good served with something crunchy, like a cookie or cookie bits or something chewy like a brownie, but you can also try a frozen grape. It'll be a lot chewier than a regular grape. Just remove a bunch of grapes from the stem and stick them in a covered container in the freezer overnight (or at least a few hours). The freezing concentrates the sugar in the fruit, kind of the same way ice wine is made from grapes left on the vine in the cold.

I. For the leftover lychee juice, you can drink it as is, or use some in a smoothie, a dessert sauce (it's amazing with butter or Soyfree Earth Balance or Becel vegan), or in a marinade for fish. I even get away with replacing mirin with it in Japanese recipes because it's so sweet. A final option is to make fruit juice jello.

This kind of turned into the ABC's of frozen yogurt...hopefully it's enough info to get you through the summer. If you've got questions or problems or have great frozen yogurt success, leave a comment below!



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