Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt in one step?
April 2, 2017 7:02 PM   Subscribe

(I can't believe I'm asking this, because I think I know the answer, but...) Can I put fruit preserves in the same jar I culture yogurt in and have it result in something delicious? Or must I put fruit preserves in the yogurt after culturing is done? Could I add syrup or herbs to yogurt as it cultures, or must I do that afterwards?
posted by blnkfrnk to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
After the culturing is done for the preserves and syrup. Possibly not for the herbs, though I've never tried that.
posted by veggieboy at 7:29 PM on April 2, 2017

I've done this, works fine. Not sure about herbs, but syrups at the bottom might work.

I put the preserves or jam at the bottom of a jar (I reuse small jam jars), let it cool if necessary, and then pour the inoculated milk in on top. Then stick it in on a rack in my pressure cooker, with a bit of water underneath, and let it culture for 8-10 hours (I have a yoghurt setting on my pressure cooker). I've had less luck just insulating them, I'm guessing because small jars lose heat faster.

I wouldn't do it with old potentially fuzzy jam (I'm in Australia, your definition of jam may be different to mine), but it's pretty cut off from oxygen at the bottom of the jar, so shouldn't grow anything new.

I've also added steel cut oats into the inoculated milk. That works too.
posted by kjs4 at 8:54 PM on April 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, and in sealed, well cleaned jars, they last at least 2 weeks.
posted by kjs4 at 8:57 PM on April 2, 2017

One thing to think about is the consistency of the finished product. If you like a thicker, Greek style yogurt, you'll want to wait until after you've strained it. The one time I tried to add stevia to the culture, it did not do well- it didn't thicken up nearly as well as usual. I can't say though if it was the stevia or if I just had a bum batch.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 6:28 AM on April 3, 2017

I've found that my yogurt cultures weird with the jam already in. I put the warm already-cultured yogurt on top and stick it in the fridge and it sets up some that way. But really, most of the time, I just put a spoonful of jam on top when I go to eat it, because I'm lazy.
posted by epanalepsis at 6:37 AM on April 3, 2017

I'd think that preserves would be fine. My concern with syrup is that it would not be a separate layer, syrup+warm milk = sweet warm milk, even without stirring; having extra sugars in the milk could keep it from setting up well. My concern with the herbs would be that the leaves wouldn't keep well, either from bringing bacteria in with them (wash thoroughly!) or that the bright leafy greenness would turn brown and wilt, and possibly seep questionably-aesthetic juicy slime (I'm imagining mint/basil/parsley more than less-juicy stuff like rosemary, thyme), but in terms of actual function is should be fine so long as you wash any fresh herbs well.
posted by aimedwander at 10:47 AM on April 3, 2017

Response by poster: I'm also lazy because I want the jam to already be in the yogurt cup, but I guess I'm willing to do the prep work ahead of time.

What I'm hearing here is a resounding maybe on the solid or semi-solid inclusions? kjs4, we have pretty much the same setup, so that's promising. Thanks for everyone's advice-- I'll probably try it with jam/preserves later this week and report back.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:14 PM on April 4, 2017

Oh, and I toss a heaped spoonful of milk powder into each batch (half a litre or so) to help with thicken it up so it doesn't need to be strained. My results vary, as I'm not too careful about doing it the same everytime. But it's always edible.

I thought there was some reason why sugar shouldn't be added, as aimedwander has confirmed, so I would thicken syrups with some cornflour to make them stay on the bottom.
posted by kjs4 at 10:53 PM on April 4, 2017

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