August 12, 2011

Cherry Frozen Yogurt - No Machine Needed

cherry, frozen yogurt, ice cream, no machine needed, recipe

Making our own ice cream, or frozen yogurt to be precise, for the first time was a revelation. Luscious, creamy, bursting with flavor, tasting of, gasp!, sun-ripened fruit, it was something to long achingly for on lazy summer days. And all this without an ice cream machine!

cherry, frozen yogurt, ice cream, no machine needed, recipe

It was in the midst of a hot, humid Hong Kong summer when we had a sudden fancy for making our own ice cream. I can't recall now exactly why, maybe it was all the summer fruits that crowded the market shelves, looking coolly colorful and promising of sunshiny bursts of flavor. Or maybe it was that our little one (toddler size now) began to really like ice cream. Further research only encouraged our fantasies of really yummy ice cream that would taste like nothing you could ever buy.

cherry, frozen yogurt, ice cream, no machine needed, recipe

But then came the wake up call. One needed an ice cream machine, so it seemed, in order to make ice cream. And these machines seemed expensive. And BIG for a very, very tiny kitchen. I plunged ahead, regardless, and discovered to my amazement that ice cream makers are very hard to find in Hong Kong!

It seems that no one wants to make ice cream here, despite it being the perfect place to eat ice cream. I finally located two stores that had one model each, but between the hefty prices and huge sizes I had to admit defeat. Ice cream dreams dashed!

And then I discovered David Lebovitz and his post on making ice cream without an ice cream machine. And the summer was saved! We adapted his recipe for Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, making it with cherries instead. Wow! This was like no other frozen yogurt I have ever had. It reminded me more of the gelatos and sorbets you find in Europe. It is now a firm favorite of our little one and a mainstay in our freezer.

cherry, frozen yogurt, ice cream, no machine needed, recipe

By the way, since our first trial of making ice cream without a machine, we have been trying out many other recipes, with all the results much better tasting than any store bought ice cream and we now always have homemade ice cream in our freezer. And that is a real pleasure.
Cherry Frozen Yogurt - No Ice Cream Machine Required
(makes 1 liter) (Maceration time: 2 hours  Prep time: 5 mins )



Put the pitted cherries and sugar in a big bowl and toss. Let sit for a couple of hours, stirring once in a while. This is a process which is called macerating, in which you mix fruit and sugar and allow time for the sugar to draw out and intensify the juices of the fruit.

Don't skip this step. It seemed to be the key for the wonderfully intense flavour of the final product. If you taste the syrup that forms in the bowl after a while, you will see what I mean.

Add yogurt and lemon juice to cherries and blend (I use a hand blender) until smooth. Cover and stick in the freezer for an hour. Check it and if the edges are forming frozen crystals, beat til smooth. I just use the egg beater or some heavy chopsticks. 

Stick it back in the freezer, checking every half hour or so and beating smooth all the ice crystals that will form starting from the sides. The mix will slowly get thicker and thicker until finally it is all one uniformly textured gooey mass (3 or more hours). At this point you can serve it soft or transfer to a container and let it freeze harder.



  1. Great article. I have never tried to make it without a machine, always use my frozen yoghurt machine. Will be trying this technique :)

    1. Hi Ben,

      Thanks! We make all our ice cream like fun and yummy! ~ellen