How to Make Freeze Dried Ambrosia Apples
Preserve the Ambrosia Apple Harvest in Your Freezer
For many of us, freeze dried food is synonymous with astronaut cuisine. It was a marvel and a novelty.
That may have been the case back in the Space Race era but freeze dried fruit is making a big comeback. And why not? It’s a convenient way to preserve your food and it’s got a lot more to offer than just an earth-orbiting snack. And, when it’s Ambrosia apples, it’s also delicious.
You may think that freeze drying is complicated and only fit for scientists and astronauts. NASA wasn’t the first to embrace freeze-dried food. According to the website freeze-dry.com, the Incas were wise to the benefits of freeze-drying. They would take their produce to high elevations where the cold temperatures would freeze the food and the thinner air would help remove the moisture.
This goes to show that the process is simpler than many of use think. Freeze drying is a process that is literally a combination of freezing and drying. First the fruit needs to be frozen and then the moisture needs to be removed. Once all of the moisture is removed, the fruit is dry and shelf-stable outside of the freezer. If you’ve tried freeze dried food before, then you may recall that it is, in fact, dry and somewhat crumbly. This is because the moisture of the fresh fruit has been replaced by air.
There are two main ways to freeze dry your Ambrosia apples.
- Freeze Dryer
There are a variety of freeze dryers available. These are machines whose sole function is freeze drying food. They make it super simple to freeze dry Ambrosia apples and allow you to do it at very high volumes, with very little effort. However, these appliances aren’t cheap. With most priced in the thousands of dollars, you’d have to be a big fan of freeze dried food to go this route.
- Home Freezer
This is the most common way for the average person to try out freeze drying. Having a dedicated freezer helps but it’s not necessary. You will have to clear out some space, though. To use your own home freezer to freeze dry Ambrosia apples, follow these steps:
- Core and halve your washed Ambrosia apples.
- Thinly slice apples (the thicker the slicer, the longer the process)
- Place apples on a mesh rack or a baker’s rack
- Place rack in the freezer. Do not cover.
- After 1 week, test the apples by taking one piece out and allowing to thaw. If it browns, it hasn’t fully dried. If it maintains its colour, then it’s freeze dried.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot.
Once you have your freeze dried Ambrosia apples, the sky’s the limit with what you can do with them. You can reconstitute them in a bit of boiling water. You can use them to add Ambrosia apples to your baking, dips, or smoothies. You can just eat them as a snack or add them to your trail mix, morning cereal, or oatmeal.
One thing is for sure, you’ll be glad you did this when stocks of fresh, local Ambrosia apples start to dwindle next summer. That is, if your freeze-dried supply lasts that long. Hmmm, maybe you should make a few extra batches.