Matt’s sisters gave me a very generous gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma last year for my birthday. I hung onto it for a while because I have a well-stocked kitchen (surprise, surprise) and didn’t need anything. Well, 2009 turned out to be the year of broken dishes, so I finally decided to use the gift to replace some of the missing pieces. I still had quite a balance left on the card afterward and browsed the site for something I wouldn’t normally consider, something “fun”… I ended up with a EuroCuisine yogurt maker.
Room enough for 7 jars
It is super cute. I’m actually not a huge fan of yogurt, to be honest, nor am I typically an advocate of single-use kitchen items, but I thought this could kill my tendency to buy the uberconvenient 1-serving yogurt cups at the supermarket. If I could save a little money, have less plastic waste (my county doesn’t recycle yogurt cups!), and perhaps be encouraged to eat more yogurt, these are all good things, right?
One of the unnecessary-but-adorable features is on the lid. You can turn a dial to the appropriate date (either the date it was made or the date it expires) to ensure the yogurt is consumed in a timely fashion, very handy for absent-minded folks like me.
Each jar holds about 6 oz of yogurt (~3/4 c), which turned out to be a really good serving size. Any smaller, it would feel like baby food; any larger, I wouldn’t be able to finish it. It’s the perfect size to fit in my lunchbox. The jar and lid can be washed in the dishwasher, but because of the curves of the jar, the spray doesn’t always clean it out completely. An easy remedy – rinse out the jar completely before washing.
My first attempt was a fruit-on-the-bottom style. I cooked up frozen blueberries with a little sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch until I had something that resembled loose pie filling. I put about a tablespoon on the bottom of each cup and poured in the inoculated milk, running it down the side of the jar. I used 1 qt of 2% milk (heated to 180 F and then cooled to 110 F), 1 C of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 c sugar, and 1/2 c of powdered milk. I let it culture for 9 hours. The yogurt was a bit runny, so I think I’ll let it go a little longer next time. I had extra milk beyond what would fit in the jars and cultured that separately for a bit longer, it firmed up nicely and contributed to a great mango lassi.
I can taste the dried milk flavor very clearly in the yogurt, and although it seemed weird at first, I quickly got used to it. All in all, I give this a thumbs up! It is delightfully easy to make and pretty tasty.
Update: I made a cherry fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt with whole milk (starter from an earlier batch) and let it culture for 15 hours. Great consistency and thick, thick, thick! For my next trick, I’m going to cut back on the dried milk…