Fruity Frozen Yogurt from a Hand-Crank Ice Cream Freezer

August 6, 2011 · 6 comments

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in August, I made a batch of simple fruity frozen yogurt. As far as homemade frozen desserts go, frozen yogurt is so easy. Unlike ice cream, you don’t have to cook and cool it, and it is a little lighter and more refreshing without all the heavy cream. What follows is not so much a recipe but more of what I hope will be an inspiration. You should try it someday soon.

I started with a loose cup each of blueberries (U-picked at Radke’s Blueberries), strawberries (from our greenhouse), and bing cherries (from a guy on Craigslist). I also had a quart of homemade goat yogurt.














We inherited this ice cream freezer from Henry’s parents. I’m not sure where it came from originally, but I have a feeling that it’s been in the family for at least a couple generations. In consists of a wooden tub, a crank mechanism, a canister, and a dasher. If I was hip, I’d say it was vintage, but I’m not hip, so I’ll say it’s pretty old and a little crusty but still totally functional.

I bought special ice cream salt, but I’m pretty sure that it’s just a fancy rebranding of regular rock salt.

I lightly mashed the blueberries in a bowl.

I pitted the cherries with this cool (and super cheap) cherry/olive pitter.

The cherry pitter works kinda like a stapler, stamping out the pits of four cherries at a time. I cut the cherries in half and threw them in with the blueberries.

It’s a little ridiculous that the smallest container of honey we have is a gallon jar.

I added a generous amount of honey to the chunky fruit blend and let it marinate a little so that the honey became thoroughly incorporated.

I stirred in the yogurt.

I poured the mixture into the freezer canister. When making homemade ice cream, you need to keep in mind that the liquid will expand as it freezes, and it also helps to have some air space inside, so never fill your canister more than 3/4 full. (Please ignore the rust in our canister. It hasn’t killed us yet.)

I secured the lid on the canister, loaded it into the tub, and fitted the crank mechanism on top.

I packed ice sprinkled with salt around the canister. The ice will settle/melt quite a bit while churning, so if you’re making homemade ice cream, be sure to have enough ice on hand. I bought two bags of ice at a convenient store and ended up using about a bag and a half.









Levi had a good time churning, though Henry and I did most of the actual work. In the beginning, the handle spins (almost) freely, but as the mixture freezes and thickens, it requires a little more effort. It always surprises me how little time it takes cranking before it’s done. ┬áStart to finish was less than 15 minutes.

When the concoction is too thick to churn easily, you’re supposed to let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes in the salted ice water to freeze more thoroughly. I have a hard time with this step and almost never heed that advice.

I opened up the canister and was surprised by how pink the newly-frozen yogurt came out. It sure was pretty.

The chunks of fruit were deliciously icy, adding different textures and distinct flavors to the whole.

I added a little garnish of rosemary to the canning-jar dish because A) I was feeling fancy, B) I didn’t have any mint, and C) Everything is better with rosemary (even frozen yogurt). How perfect, right?

In actuality, the eating of frozen yogurt was a little bit messier and less polished. The kids needed bibs and the porch got splattered.

And yes, my husband enjoyed his frozen yogurt while reclined in the bathtub. On the front porch.

Hillbilly heaven.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

laura August 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

this is so wonderful! thanks for sharing. i dunno how it took me 20 some years to learn that frozen yogurt is actually frozen yogurt (duh right?) but I agree its so great for summer. And that pitter is really great too.


abby August 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Laughing out loud about “hillbilly heaven.” Love it! Looks super delicious!


catie August 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

levi, in his checked shirt & suspenders,
churning in front of the claw foot tub,
is just about the most charming thing ever.


Jordan August 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

This is very adorable. Looks like someone’s having some fun out there!


holly c. August 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I looks delicious!

I LOVE that bathtub. :)


Anna Pensula May 22, 2015 at 11:38 am

Hi, Sure wish you would have included a picture of special ice cream salt… Just for perfections sake. As I am a first timer at ice cream making in my new vintage ice cream hand crank bucket thingy. Just trying to get things right.. Thanks for the tutorial… Peace, Love.


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