Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Automatic Yogurt Maker (Homemade Vanilla Yogurt)

Sometime in June on one of the many food blogs I follow, I stumbled across a recipe for homemade yogurt using a slowcooker. Fascinated, I searched for more recipes and found that people make their own yogurt in all sorts of ways, including a curious-sounding plastic cooler method. Though the ideas sounded neat and super economical as we eat yogurt daily, I shared SnoWhite's (Finding Joy in My Kitchen) apprehension about making yogurt using such methods and I set about to find a yogurt maker. At the Williams Sonoma outlet in Leesburg, Virginia, we found this automatic yogurt maker by Euro Cuisine for a great deal (under $40, I think).

It took a couple of tries to get a good product, but now I'm hooked! I just wish it made more than the seven six-ounce servings because its so yummy both my husband and I eat it during the week. Depending upon yogurt sales, it may not be a money-saver. However, being able to control the quality and content of the ingredients is a huge plus for me. Here's the vanilla yogurt recipe that we've been using for the last 5-6 batches:

Homemade Vanilla Yogurt
1 quart skim or 2% milk
6 tbs granulated sugar
1.5 TBS vanilla
6 oz commercial plain nonfat yogurt

Over medium, heat milk until it reaches 180 degrees. Remove commercial yogurt from fridge while you wait for the milk to boil.

Whisk sugar and vanilla into the milk and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool in a water bath until temperature reaches 110 degrees.

Stir in commercial yogurt and pour into glass jars. Place jars, uncovered, in your yogurt maker. Follow the directions for your yogurt maker for cooking time--mine is 9 hours for 2% milk and 10 hours for skim.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before enjoying.

Yogurt lasts about 10 days.

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