With heavy hearts we packed up the house in Provence and at the same time we made a picnic. As well as the last of the pain aux raisins, a quiche Lorraine and a juicy ripe peach there was a little apricot yogurt pot. Morsels to savor as we spent a couple of blissful hours relaxing in a wildflower field next to vines and cherry trees, under blue skies and hot sun with a view of the beautiful Luberon valley stretching off into the distance.
The children picked blackberries from the hedgerow and practiced their circus skills as Didier and I lay on the sunbaked grass watching a hawk circling on thermals high above us. We clung to these last few hours of simplicity and nature, the essence of Provence, to be filed away as precious memories before we caught the TGV to London.
A little glass jar of yogurt, fresh, light and creamy, not too sweet and topped with just enough fruit to make it interesting, this is what I’m dreaming about now that my feet are firmly under my desk back home in L.A.
I was inspired to master the art of homemade yogurt, a taste memory of that special Provencal picnic that Proust would be proud of. Here’s the best part – there really isn’t a lot to master. Yogurt making is super simple with the help of the inexpensive Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker. I’m not a big fan of specialized equipment that takes up space in the kitchen, but this is an exception.
You will need
1. Measure out 7 pots of milk using one of the 6 oz glass jars (approx 42oz) and put in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (180 F) and then remove from the heat and let cool to (111-113 F).
2. Wash and dry the glass jars and lids. Plug in the yogurt maker.
5. Cover the open jars with the lid and incubate for 10 hours.
7. Eat plain or with honey, jam, maple syrup, nuts, sugar and/or fresh fruit.
8. Or do as I did and make a coulis with some fresh raspberries gently boiled with a little sugar for 10 minutes and then strained directly into the top of the jar. A few extra raspberries to top it off et voila! Provence in a little glass pot.