Lemon Blueberry Frozen Yogurt – Homemade frozen yogurt with a hint of lemon and swirls of blueberry sauce
Rarely has a frozen yogurt captured my attention. Frozen yogurt is what I would eat if I wanted ice cream’s healthier cousin. It is most often the choice I have to make, not the one I want to make.
So you can imagine my surprise when I tried a frozen yogurt at an ice cream shop for the first time in years and found my taste buds FLOORED. Not only because it was frozen yogurt, but because it was a lemon blueberry frozen yogurt. If frozen yogurt was going to change my life, I thought it would at least be vanilla or chocolate or some kind, right??
But no, it was a fruity frozen yogurt that caught me off guard. Who would have guessed that? Least of all, me!
That is why I had to attempt to recreate it here to share it with you all. And I have to say…it tastes just like the inspiration from which it was adapted!!
Without further ado, check out my Lemon Blueberry Frozen Yogurt!
How this recipe is made
Frozen yogurt is virtually made with the same process as ice cream. The only major difference is the yogurt. Let’s talk through exactly what that process looks like.
The base for this frozen treat is the yogurt. Yogurt has more water than necessary for a frozen treat so we need to strain out as much as possible. This will make the frozen yogurt super creamy. You’ll do this by sitting the yogurt in a cheesecloth over a mesh strainer and letting it sit for at least 6 hours.
The flavor of the base comes from lemon syrup made from lemon juice and sugar, plus a little lemon peel that is boiled with milk that will be added to the yogurt. It’s just enough lemon to get a little tartness but not enough to make you pucker up. I love how subtle the flavor is!
After the frozen yogurt is frozen, it gets layered with a homemade blueberry sauce. We don’t mix in the blueberry sauce while freezing the base because you won’t get pretty swirls this way. Instead, the blueberries will completely mix into the lemon frozen yogurt base and you won’t get any visual separation of the flavors.
The process for making frozen yogurt involves straining the yogurt (as mentioned above), cooking the milk with cornstarch to thicken it up, making the lemon syrup, combining all of these, and then chilling before freezing in your ice cream machine. It’s important to chill the base before freezing because hot or warm liquid will not freeze. It’s too much of a temperature differential for the ice cream machine to overcome.
While the frozen yogurt base chills, the blueberry sauce is made. This process involves boiling sugar and blueberries until the berries burst and the sauce thickens. It’s important for the berries to burst so the juice from the berries thickens the sauce. Plus, you don’t want all that juice to stay in the berries because it will cause them to turn rock-solid when the finished yogurt freezes.
Finally the yogurt is frozen for about 15 minutes until the texture is thick. To finish off the frozen yogurt, it’s layered with the berry sauce and then frozen for another 4 hours to firm up before serving.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few helpful tips to ensure you get this recipe exactly right:
- Make sure you use softened cream cheese for this recipe or else you will find it impossible to mix well into the rest of the yogurt base.
- When peeling the lemon peel, make sure you do not peel off the white pith or membrane of the lemon. It is very bitter and will not add a good flavor to the frozen yogurt.
- Fresh lemon juice is essential to this frozen yogurt. Do not purchase lemon juice from concentrate or you can risk the flavor of your frozen yogurt being all wrong.
Lemon Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
For the lemon yogurt base:
- 1 quart low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 lemons
- 2/3 cup + 1/4 cup sugar divided
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 ounces cream cheese
For the blueberry sauce:
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Prepare the yogurt by straining out the extra liquid. To do this, place a mesh strainer over a bowl and line with two layers of cheese cloth. Add yogurt and let it sit in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours. Once the liquid is strained out, measure out 1 1/4 cups of yogurt and set aside.
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outer skin of the lemon, being careful not to remove the white pith. Set aside. Juice the lemons to obtain 1/2 cup lemon juice. Add juice and 1/4 cup of sugar to a small sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let it cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons milk and cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside. Grab a large bowl and fill it with 2 cups of ice and 1 cup of water. Nest another bowl into that bowl so that it's sitting on the ice water. Place a strainer on top of the inner bowl. Set this setup aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add remaining milk, cream, 2/3 cup sugar, corn syrup, and lemon peel. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes then add in slurry. Continue cooking for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, add softened cream cheese and whisk to smooth it out. Add lemon syrup and yogurt and whisk together until smooth. Add about 1/4 cup of heated milk mixture and whisk together until smooth. Add mixture back to rest of milk.
- Pour mixture through mesh sieve into chilled bowl. Stir to cool down the mixture. Place plastic wrap on top of milk mixture to prevent film from forming on top. Chill in refrigerator until really cold, at least 4 hours.
- While the mixture is chilling, make the blueberry sauce. Mix the blueberries and sugar in small sauce pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally and continue to cook until blueberries have burst and mixture has thickened. Set aside to cool.
- Once the lemon yogurt base has chilled, it's time to freeze it. Freeze yogurt according to your ice cream maker's instructions (mine took about 15 minutes to freeze).
- When the frozen yogurt is finished, spread half of it into rectangular glass container with a lid. Spoon in blueberry sauce and lay in dollops but do not mix. Repeat layer one more time and then spread top of the ice cream into one flat layer. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the frozen yogurt and then cover with the lid. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.