We started with the base yogurt recipe from our book Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work. Then we modified it. We didn't bother to heat the milk. We put the milk, salt, roasted pistachios, yogurt, and non fat milk powder in the blender. We pureed the mixture until the nuts appeared to be obliterated. Then we strained the mixture into a shallow pan and put it into a CVap set at 44°C, (110°F.)
The yogurt set in 3 hours and 15 minutes. This was a much shorter time than we had previously experienced with plain yogurt. The shallower pan and the nuts may have expedited the process. When we scooped into the yogurt we saw that it had layers. The nuts had risen and formed a slightly darker layer on top although the flavors of both the nut and yogurt permeated the entire mixture.
So why did we use milk and yogurt instead of just nut milk and a starter culture? We like the way they balance out the intense flavor of the nuts. Too often I end up trying to do things the most difficult way just to see if it works, instead of searching for the most delicious results. We may work on a pure nut-milk or coconut-milk yogurt. We had great success with cultured coconut in Maximum Flavor. This time we thought we'd rather eat a blend, letting the creamy dairy flavors round out the deep, nutty pistachios. It's opened up a world of possibilities.
1200 grams whole milk
315 grams roasted, salted pistachios
150 grams whole milk yogurt
40 grams non fat milk powder
Put the milk, pistachios, yogurt, and non fat milk powder in a blender. Turn the blender on low and increase the speed to high. Puree the mixture until it looks and sounds smooth, about 1 minute. Turn the blender off and strain the pistachio milk into a shallow pan. Put the pan in a CVap set at 44°C. (110°F.) Culture the yogurt for 3 hours and 15 minutes, until it appears to have thickened and set. Remove the pan from the CVap and cool the yogurt. Think of some cool and delicious way to enjoy it.
March 12, 2011