Making homemade yogurt is something I’ve been doing for a few months. I’d like to tell you I am a pro, and that I’ve got it down but in fact I do not. I’m still learning. I’ve done it over and over again and although I make the runniest, wettest yogurt around. I tell you, there is nothing better! Semi-recently I purchased our first batch of fresh raw cream. I couldn’t resist making something delicate and divine with it. Its a one ingredient masterpiece. One ingredient being my homemade raw cream yogurt. This time I made yogurt that would not run off of a plate. Using raw cream, raw whole milk, dry powdered milk and gelatin made me feel somewhat defeated seeing that I really want to master whole, fresh yogurt without anything added but the success of having something semi-solid gave me a sense of pride that overwhelmed my sense of failure.
Semifreddo is Italian for semi frozen… or something along those lines. Tyler Florence’s Spiced Honey Semifreddo (with dried fruit and almonds) was on last years Christmas special. (Or a year or so before? I tend to lose track of time.) It captured my attention, and although it took me a year, or however long to make this, it was well worth the wait. Similar to a frozen panna cotta this dessert is heavy enough to satisfy, but light enough to not give you a stomach ache. Instead of thickening with eggs, and sweetening it with a gob of sugar I naturally sweetened my yogurt with honey and slightly thickened it with gelatin. For the bling I used cranberries. Cranberries are perfectly tart and flavorful, packed with antioxidants the tartness pairs perfectly with the fresh raw cream which is rich and grassy. This dessert is a real decadent treat without a pound of sugar and butter. Although I do love a hearty helping of many foods that are not necessarily nutritious this is a simple, pure cure for the sweet tooth I occasionally have.
Yogurt Semifreddo With Cardamom and Cranberries
This is naturally sweetened with raw honey and lightly scented with vanilla and cardamom this dessert is beautiful and light. If you would like it sweeter you can add more honey or sugar. This recipe utilizes homemade fresh raw cream yogurt however, you can use any prepared yogurt or even plain whole cream. Just look for something that is fairly natural, and whole fat is a must. (Non-fat or low-fat yogurt will not be as creamy and ice cream like) Many store bought yogurts might not even need any gelatin added. You can just sweeten and semi-freeze them,. If you go this route I would recommend mixing in an egg yolk.
- 1 packet gelatin (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 4 cups yogurt, or cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Prepare 4-6 ramekins or one loaf pan. For individual ramekins you might want to line each one with plastic kitchen wrap for clean, pretty presentation.
In a small bowl pour 2 tablespoons of hot water over top of the gelatin. Whisk to combine. Once the gelatin has dissolved stir in honey, vanilla, cardamom and yogurt or cream. Pour evenly among ramekins and sprinkle with dried cranberries. Freeze for 45 minutes. You can freeze them entirely and store them for a week in advance. Simply thaw them on the counter 20-30 minutes before serving. If they thaw out too much just stick them back in the freezer for 15 minutes.
To remove from the ramekins place into a shallow baking pan with an inch or so of hot water. Allow to rest 2-3 minutes. This works best for a single dish. The small ones tend to be more stubborn. Using a small paring knife trace the perimeter of the dish. Place serving plate on top of the dish and invert onto the plate. Serve with chopped, sweetened cranberries or cranberry compote (cranberry relish)
Why Raw? Why Yogurt? Raw milk is a natural source of healthy bacteria that aids digestion, and builds immunity. Making yogurt with raw milk and cream is a way to introduce additional beneficial cultures, and it extends the shelf life. Once cultured raw cream yogurt, milk or butter will last much, much longer. If you are planning to make batch after batch of yogurt you should do it within a week so that the cultures are still live. I prefer to make large batches of yogurt and let it run out when it runs out. Perfect to toss in smoothies, GREAT with Muesli, Granola or Oatmeal.