Icelandic Yogurt.

IMG_0665Icelandic yogurt, otherwise known as Skyr, is amazing. I stumbled upon it at target more than a year ago. I was a hungry mama (and I was still getting really cranky when I got hungry then) so we stopped at Target and I ran in while hubby stayed in the car with the sleeping baby. I found the yogurt section and the Siggi’s was on sale so I picked up a blueberry one. Oh. My. Gosh. It was like eating ice cream, only thicker and creamier.IMG_20150602_092457

If you’re familiar with the Siggi’s brand, it’s expensive even when it’s on sale. I thought about it and I decided that someone on the internet must know how to make Icelandic Skyr and I found a recipe. I was pretty excited, except that it called for rennet (Skyr is technically cheese) and I had no idea where to get rennet. My awesome friend gave me a small bottle she had and wasn’t using and I promptly bought a half gallon of milk to try my luck at making Skyr. I was successful, so I made it for months because it’s so amazing. And then I stopped for some reason or other, I don’t remember why.

IMG_20150603_094933Recently my amazing sister-in-law went on a road-trip to visit the same friend that gave me the rennet. She asked me to pick up her raw milk while they were gone. Hubby and I aren’t big milk drinkers and neither of us really likes raw milk (no matter how hard I try to like it, I just can’t drink it) so I made yogurt out of half of it twice. The first batch was a direct-set (single use) yogurt starter I got from Cultures for Health. I didn’t have a yogurt maker, so the first attempt failed horribly. The second attempt turned into yogurt but it wasn’t raw because the whole half gallon had gotten left out overnight so I heated it just in case. My cheese thermometer wasn’t calibrated correctly so I actually ended up boiling the milk on accident. This yogurt tasted like I had started with sour milk (probably because I had) so I’m using it for baking. It made a phenomenal gluten free french yogurt cake that tasted exactly like lemon pound cake.IMG_20150603_095211

Anyway, I made the second batch into Skyr. I have tried with raw milk before and I had zero success with only heating the milk to 110°F so I had to heat it to the full 190°F which is a bit disappointing but it still tastes better than starting with pasteurized milk.

Icelandic Cream Skyr

You’ll need:
Stainless steel pot with a lid
Metal spoon
A reliable thermometer
Beach towelIMG_20150603_095328
Muslin or cheesecloth
A strainer
Two empty bowls
Half gallon whole milk
3-4 drops rennet
2 tablespoons Siggi’s yogurt
Pint heavy cream
Hand mixer, stand mixer or spoon

To make the Skyr:

  1. Pour the milk into your pot and heat it slowly to 190°F-195°F stirring occasionally without scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scalding.IMG_0662
  2. Allow the milk to cool to 110°F and stir in the Siggi’s and rennet.
  3. Put the lid on the pot, wrap it up in a towel (helps maintain a warm temperature) and stick it in a warm place for 12-16 hours. I put mine in the oven.
  4. Remove the pot from the towel. The milk should have turned solid and there should be some whey on top (yellowish liquid). If this hasn’t happened something went wrong. You might try leaving it a little longer just in case.
  5. Place your muslin or cheesecloth over your strainer placed on top of an empty bowl.
  6. Cut squares into the yogurt and slowly pour everything into the muslin/cheesecloth.
  7. Fold the muslin/cheesecloth over the top and stick the whole thing in the refrigerator. Leave it to drain for 8-12 hours depending on the consistency you’d like and how much you like the flavor of whey.
  8. Transfer the yogurt from the muslin/cheesecloth into an empty bowl and store the whey in the refrigerator in a  sealed container. It will last up to 6 months.IMG_0663
  9. Whip in the whipping cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer until you get a good consistency. Keep in mind that the yogurt will settle and kind of thicken in the fridge, so make it a little less thick than you normally like your yogurt. You can also use a regular spoon to stir in the cream, but I like the way the yogurt gets fluffy when I whip it.

This yogurt is good without anything in it, but adding a touch of maple syrup makes it even better. The possibilities are endless! Plain yogurt is like a blank canvas.