fennel and roasted strawberries frozen yogurt

fennel roasted strawberries frozen yogurt

I made strawberry frozen yogurt last weekend and then it snowed on Sunday. Ha, to think I was going to be all fancy and bring spring in with some sweet pink frozen yogurt spiked with the licorice flavored spike of fennel! The weather clearly didn't work out my way but I'm thrilled the yogurt did. 

strawberries

Fennel and cardamom are probably some of the most popular spices that you come across in Indian desserts. Consequently, I eat a lot of both and I should definitely, at some point, consider buying stock in a farm or plantation that grows them. Roasted strawberries and fennel seeds are a fantastic pairing that should be done more often. I got inspired by a fennel seed spiced ice cream by Princess Tofu that really rocked my world and she even made her own candied fennel! Though I adapted the frozen yogurt recipe from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Strawberries have a high water content so I roasted them a little in the oven to pull out the liquid. I recommend eating it the day it is made, it can get a little hard when frozen too long (I find that allowing it to stay out at room temperature for about 20 minutes to soften before serving helps with scooping). I mixed half of the fresh strawberry puree into the yogurt and the rest I reserved and mixed with a little lime juice to brighten the flavor. So when you bite into a swirled scoop, you get two different levels of strawberry flavor that makes this amazing, so good, that I think it needs a repeat soon. 

fennel seeds

Here are some of my favorite reads for this week,
  • Sarah of The Vanilla Bean Blog made a delicious whole-wheat pasta with balsamic basil spinach dressing and some grape tomatoes. 
  • I discovered Valentina of Hortus Natural Cooking who cooked up a delicious Italian braised crumbed artichoke dish that I'm absolutely in love with.
  • Valerie of Une Gamine Dans la Cuisine  baked and frosted a tasty Pineapple carrot cake with a honey-cinnamon swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
fennel strawberries frozen yogurt

fennel and roasted strawberries frozen yogurt

yields: 1 generous quart

ingredients

2 pints (4 cups) strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar + 2/3 cup
1 quart plain low-fat (2%) greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons 
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, freshly ground
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix the strawberries with the 1/3 cup of sugar in a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes in the middle rack. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Puree the mixture in a food processor. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until chilled or the temperature of the puree reads 40F. 
2. Drain the yogurt in a clean cheesecloth or muslin lined sieve for about 2 hours in the refrigerator. Discard the liquid whey and keep the yogurt aside until ready to use.
3. In a large thick bottomed saucepan, whisk the milk, honey, half and half, fennel and the sugar. Heat the mixture on medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook for 4 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of milk and the cornstarch to form a slurry. Using a whisk, quickly mix the slurry into the boiling milk. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spatula. Remove the saucepan from the stove. 
4. Stir and mix half of the strawberry puree from step 1 and the drained yogurt from step 2, into the mixture in the saucepan until completely mixed. Add the lemon juice to the remaining strawberry puree, reserve and keep chilled for the final step when layering the frozen yogurt.
5. Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour a little of the yogurt mixture from the saucepan and whisk until the cream cheese becomes a smooth paste. Whisk in the rest of the yogurt mixture until completely blended. Transfer the entire liquid into a gallon zip lock bag and seal airtight. Place the ziplock bag in an ice water bath for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the yogurt mixture is 40F. Transfer the chilled yogurt into the pre-frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn for 30 minutes until the yogurt begins to come off from the sides of the canister or alternatively  following the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the half of the frozen yogurt into an airtight freezer safe container.  Drizzle and pour the rest of the strawberry puree over the frozen yogurt and then layer with the rest of the frozen yogurt. Cover the surface with parchment paper and seal airtight. Freeze for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs before serving. This frozen yogurt is best served the day it is made. If it becomes too hard, I recommend leaving it out for about 20-30 minutes to soften a little before scooping.