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May 20, 2014

Baked Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt

My husband and I took a trip to Nashville around this time last year, where we visited Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. The chain is known for using high quality and somewhat unconventional ingredients. While there I sampled about 10 different flavors, and they were all outstanding. I was so impressed that I purchased their cookbook to see if I could recreate the magic at home. This is the first recipe I've attempted since I buying the book and it did not disappoint. When you think of frozen yogurt, the word rich may not be the first adjective to come to mind, but the addition of cream cheese makes this froyo some of the most decadent I've ever had.

Baked Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt (from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home)

Makes a generous 1 quart

Ingredients for the frozen yogurt base:
1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
½ cup heavy cream
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup

Ingredients for the rhubarb compote:
½ pound fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
⅓ cup sugar

Advance prep for the strained yogurt:
Fit a sieve (I used a colander) over a bowl and line it with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt into the sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours to drain. Discard the liquid, and measure out 1¼ cups strained yogurt; set aside.


For the rhubarb compote:

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Combine the rhubarb and sugar in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish, stirring to mix well.

Bake for up to 45 minutes (I only need about 35), stirring every 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is beginning to fall apart but is still pink.

Measure out ¾ cup of the compote and let cool (refrigerate if not using immediately); refrigerate the rest of the compote for another use. It's great for breakfast over regular yogurt.

For the frozen yogurt base:
Mix about 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.

Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved 1¼ cups yogurt and ¾ cup rhubarb compote and blend well. (I added the rhubarb just before churning and it turned out fine).

Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes. Or you can put the bowl with the frozen yogurt mixture in the icebath, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour the frozen yogurt base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy (25 minutes in my machine). Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

This recipe was such a success that I will definitely be making more in the near future. If you don't have an ice cream maker, Jeni's is available for purchase at several local grocery stores in St. Louis: Straubs and Local Harvest.

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