How to Freeze Dry Ice Cream?

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Freeze-dried food is where all the hype lies. Mainly because the taste of the food is almost always intensified, as well as, the fact that freeze-dry ice cream is so crispy and crunchy. And on a large scale it is efficient in decreasing the weight of the food so it is easier to be transported and shipped.

I bet you are wondering right now how freeze-dried ice cream tastes like and how to successfully freeze dry ice cream.

I can assure you, it tastes like nothing else. Freeze dried ice cream is my absolute favorite treat. It has an even more fluffy texture and a much more fruity taste than ordinary frozen ice cream. And I am going to share with you all the ways you can freeze dry your ice cream easily at the comfort of your own home.

How to freeze dry ice cream at your home?

It is always recommended to freeze dry your ice cream using a freeze dryer, which basically freeze dries your ice cream easily. It is the best option. However, it’s not the only great option.

There are other efficient ways, like, for instance, using your standard freezer. Believe it or not, the finished product has exactly the same results as using a freeze dryer.

The third option you have in order to freeze dry your ice cream is to use a deep freezer. It might take a bit longer than using the normal freezer. However, the results are exactly the same.

It is time to know the exact steps of each procedure.

How to use the freeze drier to freeze dry your ice cream?

  1. Start by taking out your boxed ice cream from the pack and cutting it into small portions. You can also freeze dry your ice cream popsicles.
  2. Spread your ice cream popsicles or portions of ice cream on a tray away from each other.
  3. Turn on your freeze drier after setting its temperature and allow it to start for at least 30 minutes before you place the tray with the ice cream inside it.
  4. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for the freeze drying process. It should take about 30 minutes for the whole batch to be finished.
  5. Expect the best results out of this method.

How to use the home freezer to freeze dry your ice cream?

In case you don’t have a freeze dryer ready for use, you can totally rely on using your home freezer to successfully freeze dry your ice cream. It is considered the cheapest option. You will just need a few things ready at hand.

  • A bag of dried ice.
  • A mini cooler.
  • Freezer baggies.
  1. Start by taking out your boxed ice cream from the pack and cutting it into small pieces. You can also freeze dry your ice cream popsicles.
  2. Place each portion or popsicle inside a freezer baggie separately. Place all the freezer baggies inside the mini cooler.
  3. Transfer the mini cooler to the freezer and cover it with the bag of dry ice. You have to try to maintain the lowest temperature for the ice cream for at least 48 hours. That means, try not to open and close your freezer throughout the process.

How to use the deep freezer to freeze dry your ice cream?

This process is the same as using a freeze drier to dry freeze your ice cream. However, it takes a little longer for the whole process to be done.

  1. Start by taking out your boxed ice cream from the pack and cutting it into small portions. You can also freeze dry your ice cream popsicles. It is always better to have small sized portions when it comes to freeze drying. So it is better to cut your popsicles into halves before you place them in your deep freezer.
  2. Align your ice cream portions on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are separated from each other.
  3. Place your tray with the ice cream at the bottom of your deep freezer. Leave it for at least 72 hours. Don’t attempt to even open your deep freezer, as any temperature change can affect the process.

How can I freeze dry ice cream sandwiches?

Just like any other form of ice cream. The trick lies in the sizes of the portions you are going to freeze. I mean, you will have to cut your ice cream sandwich into at least 3 parts for you to successfully dry freeze your ice cream sandwich.

If you are using a freeze-drying machine, then you won’t have to do anything except place the ice cream sandwich pieces into the machine for at least 30 minutes.

While, if you are using your freezer, then placing the ice cream sandwich pieces separately into freezer-safe bags or mylar bags, then placing all the bags into a mini cooler and moving the cooler to the freezer for 48 hours will do the trick.

You can also use your deep freezer, if you align the ice cream sandwiches on a lined baking tray and place the tray in the deep freezer for at least 72 hours.

So basically freeze drying regular ice cream or ice cream sandwiches is the same. However, you always have to make sure that you are freezing drying small portions instead of whole portions.

When it comes to ice cream popsicles, freezing them whole or cut in half is okay.

How does freeze dried ice cream taste like?

When it comes to the taste of freeze-dried ice cream. Expect the best of the best. Think about it that way, freeze drying basically takes out most of the water content, leaving only the flavor, basically intensifying it 10x. It is, in a way richer in flavor.

While the texture is also different. It is much more airy, fluffy, and light. Because freeze drying leave air pockets behind. This makes the ice cream easy to break and has no elasticity. Which is perfect when mixed with other desserts.

How long does freeze dried ice cream last for?

Generally speaking, dried ice cream almost doesn’t have any moisture content, meaning it will not spoil due to bacterial contamination. However, it has a high tendency to absorb surrounding moisture.

That’s why, it should be kept in a dry place, away from any source of moisture, preferably in an air-tight container or an airtight bag so that it doesn’t have any contact with air that could contain moisture in it.

Keep in mind, freeze-dried ice cream doesn’t need refrigeration. It can last for up to 3 years in your pantry, only if properly kept in a dry area inside an air-tight container, air-tight storage bag, or ziplock bags. This will make your freeze-dried ice cream stay crunchy and fresh. Generally prolong its shelf life and allow long-term storage.

Can I rehydrate my freeze dried ice cream?

Believe it or not, you don’t actually have to rehydrate your freeze-dried ice cream since the whole point of freeze drying your ice cream is making it more crunchy, light, and fluffy. However, in case you want to use it as an ingredient in another dessert, then you can rehydrate it with water back to its original form.

Faux freeze-dried ice cream

Yes. It is true. Ice cream can be dehydrated. But, dehydrated food is quite different from freeze-dried food. Freeze drying is ways better. In addition to the fact that you have to make the ice cream mixture from scratch. You can’t dehydrate a readymade ice cream, which makes it slightly different than real ice cream.

Remember, since this particular type of ice cream contains a high fat percentage, expect it to be soft even after dehydrating it.

To make the ice cream mix suitable for dehydration:

  1. Start by whipping two egg whites to make meringue, then add crème of tartar and mix well.
  2. Add whichever flavor you prefer to the meringue and some sugar according to your preference.
  3. Whisk everything together until you have a soft, fluffy mixture.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Scoop the meringue onto the lined baking tray.
  5. Place the tray inside a preheated oven for at least an hour till your ice cream dehydrate.

6. You can also use a dehydrator for this step and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying. Enjoy.


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