Icelandic Yogurt (Skyr) Recipe

Icelandic yogurt skyr
Rosemary Calvert/Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 cups yogurt (serves 4)
Ratings (31)

Try this recipe for homemade skyr. Anyone lucky enough to visit or live in Iceland knows all about skyr, the traditional Icelandic yogurt that has been made since the 9th-century Viking era.

Much thicker than American or even Greek yogurt, skyr is quite possibly the healthiest of yogurts. Made from nonfat milk combined with live cultures, it is low-fat, high in protein (containing three times the protein of ordinary yogurts) and absolutely loaded with probiotics.

Only recently introduced to America (in 2005) by enterprising Icelandic expatriate Siggi Hilmarsson (under the brand name of Siggi's Icelandic Style Skyr, skyr can be hard to find unless you have access to Whole Foods, The Fresh Market (South East), or Haggen's (Pacific Northwest).

It can be pricey. In 2012, a 5.5-ounce container cost $2.79. No worries, though. So long as you can find a single container of Siggi's plain or vanilla yogurt, you can use it as a culture to make your own ​skyr. If you can't find liquid rennet, a reliable supplier is New England Cheese Making Supply Co.

What You'll Need

  • 1 gallon ​milk (non-fat)
  • 1 (5.5-ounce) container Siggi's plain or vanilla skyr
  • 7 drops liquid animal rennet (or 4 drops liquid vegetable rennet)
  • 1/4 cup water (warm, nonchlorinated)

How to Make It

Before You Begin

  • Gather your skyr-making equipment -- bowls, whisks, measuring cup, spoon, thermometer probe, mesh straining bag.
  • Thoroughly sanitize your equipment either by rinsing it in boiling water or by removing it immediately from a hot dishwasher.

Make the Yogurt

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring the milk to a slow and steady simmer over a medium-high burner, heating it until it reaches the scalding point (use a thermometer to ensure it reaches 185 F to 190 F), about 15 to 20 minutes.
  1. Stir frequently to prevent scalding. If, toward the very end of the heating process, you notice that the milk at the bottom of the pot has begun to scald, reduce the heat to medium-low and stop stirring. A small bit of scalding is OK, but you don't want to release the scalded bits into the mixture.
  2. Turn the burner off immediately when the milk reaches the scalding point. Remove from burner and allow to cool to 110 F.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the cooled milk with the skyr, then return the mixture to the pot, stirring to incorporate.
  4. Whisk the liquid rennet into the warm water, then stir immediately into the milk (the rennet will lose its effectiveness if prepared more than 30 minutes before using).
  5. Cover the pot with a thick towel and keep in a warm, draft-free place (an oven or an insulated cooler) for 12 hours.
  6. Spoon the curds into a fine-meshed bag (nylon vegetable bags work great for this!) or a double-layer of cheesecloth.
  7. Suspend the bag over a dripping tray in a cool room or the refrigerator and allow to drain until the skyr is thick. Skyr will keep for 3 or 4 weeks, covered, in the refrigerator.

How to Serve Skyr

  • To serve as breakfast or a snack, top with milk, fresh berries, and sugar or honey to taste (skyr is far more sour than overly-sweetened American yogurts).
  • Or use it to make tangy and refreshing desserts like frozen strawberry skyr.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 178 calories, 4 calories from fat, 0.4 g 1% total fat, 0.0 g trans fat, 10 mg 3% cholesterol, 214 mg 9% sodium, 25.0 g 8% carbohydrates, 18.4 g protein, 20% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 64% calcium, 1% iron