No candy or fruit toppings necessary.

By Renee Cherry
Photo: Lottie Hedley

Froyo doesn't always need to mean soft-serve piled with toppings; it's possible to make a thick and creamy frozen yogurt that's enough on its own. Take this yogurt gelato created by Cathy Whims, owner and chef of Nostrana in Portland, and published in the America the Great Cookbook (Weldon Owen). Whims' recipes are inspired by the food she eats during her travels around Italy. "My favorite thing is to sample those dishes then come back to Portland and try to re-create them with our wonderful produce and wild ingredients," she writes. In this case, that means making a classic Italian dessert with yogurt local to Oregon. (Speaking of Italian food, Eataly is opening an amusement park.)

Disclaimer: This isn't a recipe for those who like shortcuts. It involves churning, plus you'll need to prep vanilla sugar in advance using a vanilla bean instead of extract. But you'll taste the difference, promise. (While you've got your ice cream maker handy, try one of these 10 superfood ice cream flavors.) Enjoy the yogurt on its own, or atop a warm crisp during the colder months.

Yogurt Gelato with Berry Sauce

Makes: 4 to 6 servings



  • 3 cups organic whole milk yogurt, chilled (Whims used Nancy's)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla confectioners' sugar (see notes)

Berry Sauce

  • 2 cups mixed berries of your choice, such as raspberries, marionberries, and blackberries
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar


  1. For the gelato, pour the yogurt into an ice cream or gelato machine and stir in the vanilla confectioners' sugar. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions until set (about 20 minutes). Transfer to a metal container and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

  2. For the berry sauce, gently cook the berries with the sugar until some of the berry juice is released and the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). If you like a smoother sauce, purée the mixture in a blender until smooth. Alternatively, serve the gelato with a loose-textured berry jam.


To make vanilla sugar: At least 1 day before and up to 2 weeks in advance, split a vanilla bean in half. Place both halves in a pint-size glass mason jar. Fill the jar with confectioners' sugar, seal, and store in a cool place. This sugar provides a more delicate fragrance than regular sugar and vanilla extract can provide. You can, however, substitute 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners' sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

The gelato is best served on the day you make it, but will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.


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