Nordic Wild Berry Frozen Skyr
A sweet and sumptuous Icelandic treat
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American
It’s officially summer and it is definitely time to dust off that ice cream maker! I’ve got a great recipe for an easy, creamy frozen yogurt that’s bursting with berry flavor. It comes together in no time, and is a delicious way to beat the summer heat.
My recipe calls for skyr (Icelandic yogurt), but Greek yogurt works just fine here as well. Not familiar with skyr? Let me give you a little background.
Skyr (pronounced skeer) is a dairy product that has been an important part of Icelandic food culture for over 1,000 years. Here in the United States, it is often marketed as the Nordic answer to Greek yogurt.
In Iceland, however, skyr is technically considered a fresh cheese, something like quark, because of the addition of rennet in the recipe. Most commercial brands no longer use rennet to make skyr, just particular strains of probiotics that are unique to the product, and different from those used to make yogurt.
Skyr is also strained, much like Greek yogurt is, which helps give it a thick, creamy texture and high protein content. It takes 4 cups of milk to make 1 cup of skyr.
The best choice: full fat
If you have never tried skyr, I would most definitely encourage you to! It’s mild, creamy, and delicious and available at many grocery stores nationwide. My only caveat is that for this recipe, it is best to use a brand of skyr or Greek yogurt that is full fat or at the very least, not nonfat. A higher fat content will result in a creamier texture and more luxurious mouthfeel, which are all good qualities in a frozen yogurt.
Frozen berries for the win
I have also made this recipe even more doable by using frozen mixed berries rather than a combination of fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Most stores carry a mixed berry blend in the frozen aisle, and they are just as tasty when used in an application like this as fresh berries. And that way you can have them on hand and whip this frozen skyr together whenever the mood strikes. Should you happen to have fresh berries, feel free to use them in place of the frozen.
Tips and tricks for smooth and creamy skyr or yogurt
While frozen skyr or yogurt is incredibly straightforward and simple to make, it is a process, and there are definitely a few tips and tricks for ensuring that it’s creamy and delicious every time.
Remember to freeze the work bowl of the ice cream machine in advance. Frozen skyr or yogurt making is not for the impulsive, the impatient, or the spontaneous. It’s an activity that rewards planning and preparation. The work bowl of your ice cream maker must be thoroughly chilled before successfully churning frozen skyr or yogurt. See the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details for your particular model, but this may take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. During the summer months, I just keep the work bowl in the freezer so that when I’m ready to make a batch of ice cream it’s ready to go.
Make sure to use a higher fat dairy product. As I mentioned, full-fat skyr or Greek yogurt makes the creamiest frozen yogurt with the most luxurious mouthfeel.
Don’t skimp on the cooling time before churning. To prevent ice crystal formation, make sure that the mixture is good and cold before it goes into the ice cream maker. I almost always make my skyr base one day and churn it the next.
Set the frozen yogurt out for 15 to 20 minutes before scooping and serving. Once you churn and freeze the finished frozen skyr for a significant period of time, it will be hard and difficult to scoop. Simply let it sit out at room temperature for a little while before serving and it should be perfectly scoopable.
Nordic Wild Berry Frozen Skyr
2½ cups frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries), fresh berries are also fine)
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ cups skyr Icelandic yogurt or Greek yogurt (not nonfat, preferably full fat)
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of fine salt
Combine frozen berries and ½ cup sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium. As the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to release their juices, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to help the berries break down.
Continue to cook over medium-low, stirring and mashing frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is syrupy, about 7-10 minutes.
Transfer to a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and strain, pressing down with a rubber spatula to make sure to get as much of the berry syrup while leaving the seeds and skins behind. Discard the seeds and skins in the strainer.
Add remaining ½ cup sugar to the warm berry syrup and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Whisk in skyr, cream, vanilla, and salt until the mixture is completely smooth.
Cover and chill the mixture until it is very cold, at least three hours.
Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions in an ice cream machine.
Either enjoy immediately (frozen yogurt will be a soft-serve texture at this point), or transfer to a freezer-safe, sealed container and freeze until firm before serving. If frozen skyr is too firm to scoop, set out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
If you really want to bring some Scandinavian flair to this Nordic Wild Berry Frozen Skyr, consider baking a batch of homemade krumkake to use as ice cream cones. I hope you give this delicious summer treat a try. It’s a wonderful way to cool down on a sultry summer day!
Photos: Kristi Bissell
This article originally appeared in the July 29, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.