Last week I was out on a long walk with the girls when I stopped to congratulate myself. “Elizabeth,” I said, “you have adjusted spectacularly to the Virginia heat. It’s nearly 90 and you are doing great.” At that moment, the weather gods laughed and released the humidity.The dreaded summer haze crept in, the sky edged several shades paler, crisp shadows blurred, and everyone began to sweat in places they’d rather not mention.
Facing such sweltering conditions, most people would sensibly shun their ovens. That would be the prudent thing to do. But I’m not known for my practicality, and accordingly, this summer I am all about roasting, baking, and cooking things. I can’t get enough of the deep, concentrated flavors that the oven coaxes out, and so this summer, even before biting in to a drippingly sweet donut peach, I first consider how much better it would be after a few minutes on the grill or under the broiler. And so my friends, that is how I came to make roasted raspberry frozen yogurt.
It’s everything you might imagine –– sweet and bright, with smoky caramel undertones. Tucked in there too are hints of balsamic and maple, a flash of zest, just a few grains of salt, and some bite from the booze. I had toyed with adding a few drizzles of chocolate to the mix, but couldn’t bear to mess with the perfect fushia beauty, so instead I took my peeler to a bar of chocolate to top off the finished product.
Before the recipe two minor confessions: I did my roasting in my toaster oven, so things weren’t as sweltering as they could have been; and since I didn’t strain the raspberry seeds each bite was a bit seedy, but we were OK with it.
Roasted Raspberry Frozen Yogurt (adapted from this David Lebovitz recipe)
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
tiny pinch sea salt
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons kirsh (or vodka)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the raspberries, and toss them with the balsamic, maple, and sea salt. Spread on a smallish rimmed oven-proof pan (a 9 inch cake pan works wonderfully). Roast for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling but not burning, and the tops of the berries have started to brown just a bit. Use a spatula to turn the berries halfway through. Set aside to cool.
Once the berries are fairly cool, scrape the berries and all of the juices into your blender. Add all remaining ingredients, and pulse until pureed. If you’d like, press mixture through a mesh strainer to remove seeds (being lazy, I skipped this step and things were a little seedy, but fine). Chill mixture for 3 hours, or set container into an ice bath if you’re in a hurry.
Process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. The frozen yogurt will be quite soft even after a good churning. Spoon into your preferred ice cream container (I use a pyrex loaf pan with a lid) and freeze for at least 2 hours to cure. If you are pressed for time, throw a few little bowls in the freezer too to keep your not-quite-cured frozen yogurt cold.
Serve with fresh berries and bittersweet chocolate shavings.