As much as I love plain and Greek-style yogurts, I can’t quite get on board with most of the flavored varieties I’ve tried. Many of them are so sweet I feel like I’m eating strawberry pudding or mousse instead of yogurt, because they’re often made with jam or preserves.
But it’s August, and the lure of fresh summer fruits has never been stronger. In an effort to marry them with the tangy yogurt I adore, I zoned in on a weekend project: homemade peach-cinnamon yogurt.
Why peach-cinnamon? Peaches have been on my breakfast menu all season, so that part was a no-brainer. And after chatting with blogger Christy Jordan about her Peach Cobbler, I came to understand the sparks that fly when peaches meet cinnamon in any dish.
The process of making the yogurt base was almost identical to the first time I made my own yogurt. I used a freeze-dried starter culture last time, so this time around I decided to try it with a prepared yogurt starter (either way works). I chose my usual suspect, Fage 2%, stirring it in after the milk cooled to 111° to 113°F.
The next step involved making my peach mix-in. I have the Automatic Yogurt Maker from Euro-Cuisine, so I checked out the recipes on their website for inspiration before starting. They recommend making a simple compote from fruit, sugar and water, then whisking that mixture into the yogurt base. Thus, I came up with the following recipe:
1 peach, pitted and chopped
1 cup water
1 to 4 Tbs. agave nectar, to taste (you can substitute sugar or honey)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a small fry pan over low heat, combine the peach, water, agave nectar and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes. Makes about 1/3 cup.
Then make the yogurt base according to the instructions with your yogurt maker (or check out my instructions for making plain yogurt). Both the fruit mixture and the yogurt base should be cooled to around 110°F before they are combined. Combine, pour the final mixture into yogurt jars, place them (uncovered) in the yogurt maker and let them incubate as usual.
Since I like my yogurt on the tart side, I used only 1 tablespoon of agave nectar and was very pleased with the results. The yogurt was soft and mild, with a fresh peach taste that didn’t overpower. The consistency was slightly different than my first plain batch — a little grainier — which may be related to the added moisture from the peach or to the different starter I used.
Every morning I top plain yogurt with a chopped peach or nectarine or a handful of strawberries. Adding fruit at the beginning of the process has definitely saved me a step on busy weekdays!
Have you tried any flavored yogurt experiments? Tell us in the comments!
About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.