Fruit yogurt is fun to make and a delicious way to save and be healthy!  It’s basically the same as the plain Easy, Fail-Proof Yogurt and Sweetened Vanilla Yogurt recipes with an extra step and possibly slightly longer incubation period.  The extra steps are indicated in bold below.

Although the overall process of making yogurt takes at least half a day, the hands-on involvement is only about 20 minutes.  I usually work on it while doing another kitchen project.  I also like to make it in the morning and let it incubate all day or make it while I’m making dinner and let it incubate over night.

IMG_1753Raspberry Granola Parfait with Blackberry Garnish

If you like to maximize your grocery savings, you’ll love this.  With yogurt going for $4-7 a quart, making your own gives you huge savings!  Recently, milk was on sale here for $1/half gallon, the individual cups of Stoneyfield were $1, and though I keep powdered milk on hand, it shouldn’t be more than $1-2 for 2 cups.  Berry prices will vary.  For$2-4, I can make 5 quarts of yogurt (vanilla and blueberry) or 40-80 cents a quart–less if you use starter from yogurt you’ve made previously. That’s a HUGE SAVINGS!  Woo-hoo!  AND the flavors are very limited in the quart size.  Not anymore!  Not for you!

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There are several variations to this recipe(see below) and you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and/or variations with no more time investment than the original recipe.

(All links in red, coming soon)

For plain Easy, No-Fail Yogurt, follow this tutorial

To make Sweetened Vanilla Yogurt, follow this tutorial.

To make any of the yogurts using powdered milk, follow this tutorial.

To see how I make several variations in one big batch, follow this tutorial.

To make Yogurt Cheese, follow this tutorial.

For the Granola recipe and tutorial, click here

For a handy, PDF chart with all the steps and variations:

BASIC YOGURT AND VARIATIONS

Are you ready for

EASY, FAIL-PROOF FRUIT YOGURT MAKING?

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First collect your ingredients:

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Large saucepan, cooking thermometer, spoon, measuring cups and spoons, whisk, funnel.  Incubator (glass jars, hot pad, bowl, towel)

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2-3 TB prepared yogurt*(this is your “starter yogurt”), quart of milk, ½ C milk powder, 1 tsp vanilla, up to 1/2 C white or brown sugar and up to 1 C fresh or frozen berries.

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A couple of notes here:

  1. You can use store-bought OR homemade yogurt as your starter yogurt.  I’ve gone with the advice that the “healthier” the original yogurt—in terms of amount of beneficial cultures—the better the subsequent batches.
  2. There are many ways to incubate yogurt–in an unlit gas oven, in a cooler, in a crockpot, in special yogurt-making machine gadgets.  I’ve tried them with varied success.  This economical method  has been most consistently reliable for me for over a decade.  (If you really like the little cups that come with the yogurt machines, just make your yogurt in half pint jars.)
  3. Variations on the Basic recipe include sweetened vanilla yogurt, fruit yogurt and yogurt made entirely from powdered milk.
  4. The batches of yogurt can easily be multiplied.
  5. Although I haven’t tried it, this should recipe also work using cooked or canned fruit in place of the berries.

DO THESE STEPS FOR ALL YOGURTS:

Put one quart of milk in a large saucepan.  You can use fat-free or whole or anything in between.

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Using a whisk*, blend in ½ C of milk powder and the sugar.  (*You can also use a regular blender or an immersion blender.  I’ve done both, though sometimes with the immersion blender, I manage to splatter milk all over the stove and backsplash!)

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Over medium heat, stirring frequently, heat milk to 180 degrees.  Keep a careful eye on the milk as it can easily scald, particularly as the temperature gets higher.  This could take around 10 minutes.

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Remove from heat and cool to 115 degrees.   This will probably take at least half an hour.  You can “hurry” the process by setting the pan in a container of icy water, but it’s easiest to just let it sit.

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Note:  You can use a candy thermometer (in the first picture) or a meat thermometer (immediately above) with equal success.

Scoop 2 heaping Tablespoons yogurt into a bowl.

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Whisk in a little of the cooled milk.

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Add the yogurt/milk mixture back into the pan.  Add 2 tsp. vanilla or other flavor extract.  Whisk until smooth.

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To add other extracts like lemon, maybe increase the amount of extract to 1 TB.

Put berries in the blender container.  

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Add at least half of the milk mix (you can add all of it to the blender if there is room).

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 Starting at a low speed and increasing speed, blend until berries are pulverized and mix through the milk mix.  Blend for as short a time as possible to minimize foaming.

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Pour mixture into jars.  This is sometimes easier if you use a funnel.

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          Note: One quart of milk, plus the other ingredients, makes a little more than a quart of yogurt, so you will need a pint jar or extra jars in other sizes for each quart batch.

Notice the foam (lighter colored portion) in each jar?  You can skim that off from the blender before filling the jars.  We don’t mind it, so I don’t take the time.  

Put lids on jars.

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Set jars on a heating pad set on “low”.

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Yes, that is a vanilla yogurt showing in the next few incubation pictures!

Cover jars with large inverted bowl or pan and then with a thick towel.

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Incubate (meaning leave there) for 7-12 hours, depending on desired thickness of yogurt.  The longer you leave the yogurt, the thicker it will be.  The yogurt below was incubated for 8 hours and is quite thick (Greek style).  Sometimes, the fruit yogurt needs a longer incubation time than vanilla or plain yogurt.  

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Doesn’t that look yummy?  It is!!

Refrigerate. . .and enjoy!

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A raspberry yogurt parfait using Grandma Karen’s Granola recipe, topped with blackberries.

Serve your fruit yogurt straight from the jar or with added fruit or pie filling, sweetened with honey or jam, with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg or layered with granola, nuts or other goodies for a yummy parfait.  Enjoy!

For a handy, PDF chart with all the steps and variations:

BASIC YOGURT AND VARIATIONS

For plain Easy, No-Fail Yogurt, follow this tutorial.

To make Sweetened Vanilla Yogurt, follow this tutorial.

To make any of the yogurts using powdered milk, follow this tutorial.

To see how I make several variations in one big batch, follow this tutorial.

To make Yogurt Cheese, follow this tutorial.

For the Granola recipe and tutorial, click here.

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