My grandmother was a remarkable woman. The matriarch of a large extended family that included 15 grandchildren, she not only found the time to keep her home spotless and elegantly decorated, but always found a way to create incredible meals and treats. My favorite was her homemade yogurt which I devoured when there was any available. Rich and creamy, this yogurt was comfort food at its finest.
As a little girl, I was confused by one detail in her household: no matter what the season, there were always winter coats piled on her dining room table. It never occurred to me that this pile of winter-wear had anything to do with the yogurt treats she created. It was there that she kept the brewing yogurt warm, before she chilled them for us to eat.
This recipe comes close to what my grandmother used to make. You can make yours in a yogurt maker or as my grandmother did, by covering glass jars filled with milk and starter, with clean heavy towels, blankets or winter coats. I prefer the yogurt plain, perhaps with a bit of fresh fruit, but it is also good with vanilla and honey.
Try making this immensely versatile creamy delight. Like homemade bread, homemade yogurt satisfies in a much different way than even the best store-bought brands.
HOME MADE YOGURT
Yield: 7 Servings
- 3 cups milk (whole, reduced fat or skimmed)
- * 6 ounces plain yogurt (with active cultures)
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the milk to a boil; turn off the heat and cool to room temperature. Whisk the cooled milk and the yogurt together. Place in a yogurt maker, following the manufacturers instructions. Or, divide the milk and yogurt mixture between 7, 6-ounce glass jars. Set the jars in a warm place and cover them with a clean towel or blanket.
- It will take 6 to 12 hours for the yogurt to achieve a thick consistency. Whole milk yogurt will take the least amount of time, low fat and skim yogurt will take the longest. After 6 hours, you can check periodically by tilting the container to see if the milk has become yogurt, keeping in mind it will thicken a bit more when refrigerated.
- When the yogurt has achieved your desired consistency, cover each jar with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours or until ready to use.
- The yogurt will keep for about one week in the refrigerator. Save one to use as a starter for your next batch.
*Note: You will need a starter yogurt for your first batch. Purchase a brand whose flavor you enjoy and be sure it has active yeast cultures.