There’s something perverse about serving an icy dessert in mid winter, especially on a New Year that sees Malta and most of the Med experiencing plummeting temperatures not seen for around 27 years. I’ve never heard of below zero being registered in Malta, but the thermometer dipped to -0.6 degrees C in Gozo a few nights back. In Sicily, farmers have lost citrus groves under snow. Weirdly though, this frozen yoghurt has all the elements that I yearn for in the early days of January – the sharp citrus tang of our still green lemons speaks of a fresh start and a renewed zest for life, while its mere hint of sugar seems a step in the direction of healthier food choices after the festive excess. I must be mad to eat anything chilled when my house still has flapping polythene on four large gaping holes where doors should be! I am wearing seven layers as I write, and my finger tips are numbing on the mouse pad.
I won’t dissect the meaning of New Year nor what my resolutions are. We’re all struggling to get back into gear as it is without needing to read more half-baked (or part defrosted, in my case) philosophies on the year ahead. I decided to ‘pen’ in my head one or two words only, rather than a resolution list. Far better to have a focus – a theme, if you will – for the year to follow. A catchphrase we can remind ourselves of every so often to benchmark our actions by. That way, we can work through a year of change without feeling the let down of missing the mark on any particular resolution.
Where does the absurdity of a frozen yoghurt on a chill January day fit in all this? I am determined to shake things up a bit here on my blog, and elsewhere in my daily routine, and do more of the unexpected, pushing myself to learn skills that I know I tend to shy away from – vlogging, for example. A challenge to myself rather than a resolution. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and so I hope to see you here being my honest crits. And finally, Happy New Year to regular Red Bistro browsers and to chance passers-by to this blog; here’s to a year of following fruitfully our various passions and making time to share in, learn from and appreciate those of others who are pushing their own limits too.
All images © Liz Ayling 2014
- 500g tub of plain, thick yoghurt (use a Greek style if possible)
- 1-2 tbsps icing sugar, sieved
- juice of half a large lemon
- fine zest of a whole lemon + some to top
- Whisk up the yoghurt with one or two tablespoons of sieved icing sugar (according to how sweet you like the dessert).
- Add the lemon juice and finely-grated zest of one lemon. Whisk to blend.
- Churn the yoghurt for around 5-10 mins until a desired consistency - check instructions on your particular ice cream machine. I found a bare 5 minutes enough churning time.
- Scoop out the yoghurt into a freezer-proof tub and freeze til required. You can serve straight from the machine too.
- Sprinkle over some more lemon zest and dust with icing sugar on serving. Nice to eat with simple, plain Italian biscuits or Savoiardi.
- Keep for one week frozen. Remove from the freezer around 20 minutes before serving as it sets quite hard.
- Lovely eaten with cakes, on its own, or, if using less sugar, for breakfast. Ideal also in smoothies.