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As someone who does not own an ice cream maker, I always assumed homemade ice cream was out of reach unless I wanted to recreate the manual method of mashing cream and sugar together in a zip-top bag stuffed inside another bag filled with ice and rock salt–AKA, the most anticipated and most frustrating Girl Scout project my troop ever completed.
Instead, I’ve resigned myself to only going out for ice cream (which, really, is probably better for my health anyway) and perfecting the recently popular banana ice cream. If you’ve never made it, the basic recipe is to slice and freeze bananas, then blend them up in a food processor until smooth and creamy. It’s not a perfect substitute for real ice cream, especially when we’ve got a Graeter’s in every direction down here in Southwest Ohio, but with the right blend of ingredients–I like vanilla, peanut butter and cocoa–it’s a tasty treat when you need something cold and sweet.
But when I found this recipe for peach frozen yogurt, I knew I had to try it. A little digging revealed that homemade frozen yogurt and ice cream can be made using the same principle as the banana ice cream. A commercial ice cream maker accomplishes two things at once: it freezes while it churns your ice cream smooth. But there’s no reason those two steps have to occur simultaneously. As the banana ice cream phenomenon hints, it is possible to first freeze the mix, and then churn it smooth by means of a food processor.
I’ve since made some changes to the original recipe, using one large or two small peaches to make a smaller batch and adding a little alcohol to maintain its scoopability. I was impressed to find that a bit of protein powder is completely undetectable in the finished product but adds a little boost of protein that makes me feel just a little bit better about eating this for dessert. But, it’s totally optional! Leave it out if you wish with no changes.
- 1 large peach or two small peaches (8 to 10 oz with pits)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar (try brown sugar for a nice twist)
- 1 tbsp bourbon, rum or vodka, optional*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup plain whey protein (I use Bob's Red Mill)**
- Cut the peach in half, remove the pit and cut each half in half so you have four quarters. Remove the peel and cut into chunks.
- Place the peach pieces and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, covered, 10 minutes until tender.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Chill in the fridge.
- Once the peach mixture has cooled at least to room temperature, blend it smooth with a blender or food processor. Fold in the yogurt and whey protein.
- If you have an ice cream maker, freeze the mix according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- If you do not have an ice cream maker, spread the yogurt mix in a rimmed baking sheet line with a Silpat or waxed paper. Freeze until firm.
- Peel up the Silpat or paper, breaking the yogurt into chunks. Add the pieces to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs, then run the food process until it forms a smooth ball, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Serve immediately or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.
*The little bit of bourbon in this recipe helps keep the yogurt soft and scoopable. You can skip it if you don't want to use it or plan to eat the fro yo right after freezing and food processing it. **The protein powder is barely detectable, and this recipe can also be made without it with no changes.