For as long as I can remember, I’ve been crazy about yogurt, the plain kind, for its pleasant and subtle tart flavour. Back in Russia, homemade yogurt is sold in individual cups at open air markets. It is usually made of slowly baked milk and is therefore topped with the most delicious, golden crust. Although my mother made the same kind of yogurt at home, I was often forced to buy my share at the market. The yogurt was the most special treat to my father, and he was likely to devour the whole portion before I could ever get to it.
I love to make yogurt at home, whether I use coconut, oats, raw goat milk or non-homogenized cow milk. For dairy yogurt-making, you can buy yogurt grains online, but that technique will require a yogurt machine or a dehydrator. The most simple way to a homemade yogurt is to add your favorite market/store-bought yogurt to milk as a starter. Choose the best milk you can find – raw, goat’s, non-homogenized – together with a high-quality yogurt, and the results will be delicious.
For these pops, I used yogurt that I made out of raw goat milk from the Dancing Goat farm, with Seven Stars Farm yogurt as a starter. The catch here are the lemongrass infused raspberries, my long time flavour obsession. Besides being delicious, the combination seems to have an extra cooling effect.
Right as I took the pops out of their mold, Paloma ate one with an impressive speed and proceeded to ask for another, which I gave her with no hesitation, as the pops are full of organic berries, acidophilus and other beneficial yogurt cultures.
Easy Homemade Yogurt
1/2 gallon high-quality fresh milk (raw, goat’s, non-homogenized, etc.)
1 cup high-quality yogurt, preferably made of non-homogenized milk with live cultures
1. In a pot, heat the milk to 180 F and let cool to 110 F.
2. In a jar with a tight lid, mix the yogurt with about 1/2 cup of warm milk, close the lid and shake to combine thoroughly. Add the mixture to the rest of the warm milk and stir to combine.
3. Ladle the mixture into clean glass jars, cover with a towel and keep the jars warm, preferably at 110 F. If you have a dehydrator, that’s the perfect place to keep the jars with the temperature set. If not, wrap the jars with more kitchen towels to keep in the heat or place into a warmed oven that has been turned off. Check after about 4 hours. If the mixture is thickened, place it into the refrigerator. If not, leave to thicken longer.
2 lemongrass stalks
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons purified water
1. Cut the lemongrass stalks in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 2-inch pieces and bruise them with the back of a knife.
2. Place the lemongrass into a small saucepan with the honey and water, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let infuse for 30 minutes. Strain and don’t wash the saucepan.
Frozen Yogurt Lemongrass Raspberry Pops
(makes 10 pops)
2 1/2 cups yogurt
1/3 cup honey
2 cups raspberries
1. Place wooden popsicle sticks in water to soak, if using. Mix your well-chilled yogurt with the honey.
2. Combine half of the raspberries with the strained lemongrass syrup in the same saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add in the rest of the berries, briefly mashing with a fork to incorporate. Let cool completely in the refrigerator.
3. Process the yogurt in your ice-cream machine according to the manufacture’s instructions, usually 20 or so minutes.
4. Briefly mix the lemongrass-raspberry mixture into the yogurt. Fill 10 popsicle molds. Cover with the lid, insert the sticks and place into the freezer until completely frozen, preferably overnight. Carefully remove from the molds and enjoy.