Comparing Blueberry-Lemon Frozen Yogurts

Recently, Michael Ruhlman commented on an article about the inevitable extinction of home cooking. He disagreed with this idea, and called out two blogs in praise of home cooks. I had never heard of either so I checked them out.

Like with most successful food blogs, the photographs were fantastic, but the blog that really called out to me the most was Simply Recipes. I went home that night and tried out two things featured there… and was disappointed with both.

The point of this discussion isn’t to trash the other blog. I was just a little more disappointed than usual because Michael Ruhlman called them out and I switched my cooking line up to make them and they didn’t quite deliver. Now I’m left with “meh” and “eh” to post about. Delicious food is the ideal topic to write about, but I don’t always cook those. I know I’m not the only one. So now, in regards to these flailed and flopped dishes, the eternal blog foodie question: To post, or not to post?

I think, post.

So, this week I recreated Simply Recipe’s Blueberry Lemon Frozen Yogurt. This is not our first blueberry frozen yogurt. You may or may not remember that for our June 2008 Magazine of the Month, Food & Wine Magazine, we dug into Jeni Briton’s Lemon-Blueberry Frozen Yogurt. (Actually, I think this was our premiere Magazine of the Month post!) A well-known ice cream artisan, Jeni Briton’s creations knock your socks off every single time and that’s exactly what her frozen yogurt did. Because that was my first experience, this other concoction had a lot to live up to.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Here it is coming out of the ice cream machine. It’s very, um, mauve. Don’t get me wrong, I actually kind of like it. After it sat in the freezer overnight, it darkened to a really, really deep purple (cough, mauve).

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
Adapted from Simply Recipes

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (about 1 1lb)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet your blueberries are, and how sweet you want the result to be)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups low or non-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp cream
1/2 cup whole milk

Place the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring, until all of the sugar has dissolved. When all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and place saucepan in an ice water bath, and stir mixture for 15 minutes. Process the cooled mixture in a food processor. Remove mixture from food processor workbowl and return to saucepan. Stir in the yogurt and milk until completely incorporated. Process the blueberry yogurt mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (usually about 25 minutes). Serve immediately (it will be soft) or let it firm up a bit by freezing it for several hours. Makes about 1 quart.

So here are my findings: This was way too sweet. My blueberries were fresh so I only used 3/4 cup of sugar — and that was still way too much. I had to squeeze an entire lemon in to try and force a balance, and it still needed more lemon to balance out the sweetness. It also lacked the creaminess that I expect in a frozen yogurt. I’d give it a C grade, and no higher. After it came out of the freezer, I was even more disappointed in its shaved-ice consistency.

Jeni Briton’s, on the other hand, was incredibly creamy. Each bite had a perfect balance of a light and delicious lemony taste with the blueberry streaks running through it. Though it didn’t seem like a lot of blueberry, the balance was absolutely perfect. I still recall when I made it and being so amazed at how balanced the flavors were. Grade: A+.

So, there you have it. If you are in the mood for a delicious Lemon-Blueberry Frozen Yogurt, I’d still say Jeni comes out on top.


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