Homemade yogurt

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…

8 thoughts on “Homemade yogurt

  1. I’ve been thinking I should make yogurt for years!! This might be the nudge I needed – after my next trip, after we finish moving.

  2. Cute little yogurt cups! You can leave out the powdered milk altogether and culture the yogurt for 24 hrs and it will be nice and thick.

  3. What fun! I don’t have space for a yogurt maker but it’d be on my list if I did. I’ve been making my own yogurt with raw whole milk, no dried milk added – I find that the yogurt always comes out kind of grainy if I add it. I also only heat it to 120° but I don’t know if that temperature only applies to raw milk or not. I’m not up on my dairy science, I guess! Anyways, I just pour the inoculated milk into quart jars and put them into a cooler that’s about 1/3 full of the hottest tap water I can get. I just leave it overnight, usually – it’s still warm in the morning and it thickens to our liking. I do often drain it in a colander lined with a coffee filter – the kids LOVE yogurt cheese.

  4. Cool!

    In the fall, I started making my own yogurt. I was tempted by various machines, but like Jess I just warm up some milk, mix it the the yogurt, and dump it in a jar. Then I wrap it up and leave it for the night.So far my results haven’t been quite tangy enough for me, but it’s fun to make. I would probably get more consistent results if I used a proper machine.

  5. I recently started making my own yogurt too. But I used a 2 qt slow cooker, warmed the milk to bubbly but not boiling, let it cool down till I could keep my little finger in it for 20 seconds. Adde 1/2 cup
    Stonyfield organic yogurt, whisk and covered the pot with the appliance cover I had made for it. Twelve hours and I had nice and thick yogurt, great flavor too. No dry milk. I can add the fruit I want or not.

  6. Very cool! I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a yogurt maker. I found the individual containers of yogurt to be more wasteful than I would like, so I buy the large containers of (nonfat, no-sugar-added, vanilla) yogurt and spoon it over frozen fruit. Overnight, the fruit thaws and the fruit juice flavors the yogurt.

    But still… I’d love to have yogurt and fruit each day without the plastic waste involved.

    I am going to add “yogurt maker” to the top of my list.

  7. I love homemade yogurt! I had a yogurt maker that somehow didn’t make the move from Tx to Mn with me, and the one I eventually bought to replace it didn’t work as well. Even absolutely plain yogurt tasted fabulous in that old machine (Salton brand, iirc), rich and creamy, and I am not particularly fond of eating it plain. Have fun with all the beneficial bacteria! 🙂

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