Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt
November 11, 2011
I wasn’t entirely sure what to call this. Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt? Ice Milk? It’s not ice cream, because it has no cream, and is less than 10% milkfat. Then the somewhat dubious term ‘Frozen Dairy Dessert’ popped into my head. That just has a bad connotation, doesn’t it? I’m not even entirely sure why it does, but what kind of dairy are we talking about that doesn’t fall into the cream, milk, or yogurt category? Anyhow, this is basically 55% frozen yogurt, 45% ice milk. But whatever. It tastes wonderful.
I’ve been attempting to make frozen yogurt/ice milk or sherbet since this summer when there was an article on ice cream in Saveur. I read the short feature about making ice cream without an ice cream maker (or at least with a with cheaper one), then made a few failed attempts. There was the flavorless cantaloupe that I tried to make watermelon-cantaloupe sherbet out of. Then there was the subsequent attempt at using agar for thickening the sherbet, which resulted in a gummy, nasty tasting watermelon-cantaloupe substance. And more recently there was the pumpkin soup I made that turned out to be a bit too sweet (and clovey), which I turned into ice milk. Now that actually wasn’t too bad, but it was overpowered by cloves. (And even though you couldn’t taste it that much, it did have chicken broth in it. That’s just not really a dessert type flavor, you know?) But this latest attempt made up for the others.
I bought a second pumpkin from Red Wagon Organic Farm at the Boulder Farmers’ Market last weekend to roast and make more pumpkin puree. This one was a ‘Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin’ (which turns out to be an heirloom introduced in 1893). It wasn’t at all as sweet as the one I used for my first batch of pumpkin puree, so I was a bit concerned about how it would work for something desserty, but then I reminded myself that pumpkin out of a can doesn’t have much sweetness to it, either.
I bought some 2% milkfat Greek yogurt for this, and I knew I had evaporated milk at home. So I combined the pumpkin, yogurt, the fat-free evaporated milk I had left, agave, and the spices you’d use in pumpkin pie. I added a little regular skim milk to thin it out a bit, and then put it in the freezer overnight.
The next day I let it thaw just enough that I could scoop it out and put it in the food processor. It needed to be thinned down (and ‘dairied up’) a bit more, so I added some more skim milk. I had hoped to use some more evaporated milk, since we had an additional can in the pantry, but it wasn’t stamped with a date, and frankly didn’t seem like it could still claim membership in the dairy family when I opened it and took a whiff. (Okay, it really wasn’t that bad, but I wasn’t going to risk wasting my pumpkin puree). So I grabbed the container of maple flavored yogurt I had bought for lunch this week, and dumped it in. Good call! I processed it and processed it (and processed it) to break up the crystals, and then kept going a bit more, which resulted in a really nice whipped texture. I think this is the best time to serve it – just give it a quick chill in the freezer to set up a bit more, but not enough time to form crystals again. It still tastes great the next day, but it would be good to process it again to break the crystals up.
The really nice thing about this frozen yogurt (besides the pumpkin pie taste) is that it’s quite low in calories and fat. It made about 12 1/2 cup servings, at only about 70 calories and 0.5 gram of fat. (It really helps that nearly half of the volume is vegetable!) But you could really use any combination of yogurt and milk that you want. You can use some cream or full-fat yogurt if you want to make it richer, or you could use more milk if you wanted it less dense.
Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt
Makes about 12 1/2 cup servings
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15-oz can)
7 oz plain Greek yogurt (2% fat)
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup agave (to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1+1/2 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 sprinkles of ground cloves
1 sprinkle ground nutmeg
6 oz low-fat maple flavored yogurt (or vanilla, or plain)
1/4 cup skim milk
Combine all of the starting ingredients well. Transfer to a stainless steel container, and cover tightly (I just used aluminum foil). Freeze overnight.
The next day, take the container out of the freezer, and let thaw just until you can scoop it out and put it in a food processor. (You don’t want to let it melt, just get to the point where you can pry it out of the container). Add the yogurt and additional milk listed under ‘Added Ingredients’, and process for several minutes (I may have done 8?), stopping to push any hard chunks down with a spatula as necessary. Once all the hard, icy parts are incorporated, keep processing until the mixture increases in volume a bit, and is very smooth and whipped.
Ideally you want to serve it immediately. If you store it in the freezer again, either re-process it or be prepared to enjoy a bit of a crystallized texture.