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Can You Freeze Dry Ice Cream?
I wish I could scream this answer. What’s the saying? Something about you screaming, I’m screaming, we’re all screaming for ice cream? Yes, this is that much fun. We love freeze drying ice cream treats. When I freeze dry ice cream novelty treats, I get a little excited.
We love eating these treats even more.
When we started with the freeze drying adventures, one of the first things we did was ice cream sandwiches and some sloppy fudgy swirl ice cream plop drops. I know, that was a fun mess, I’m not going to lie. I’m also kind of hoping I can open those bags soon. I loved how that ice cream turned out.
One of my favorite ice creams right now is called Unicorn Sparkles from Great Value Brand. Where we live, it’s $1.97 a container. This ice cream tastes like birthday cake with a ribbon of sparkly frosting and sprinkles. I’m addicted.
I was worried that freeze drying it would ruin it.
I was wrong. So, wrong. It’s even better.
How Do I Prep Ice Cream To Freeze Dry
This specific ice cream I didn’t want to just plop onto the trays. I thought, yeah, I’m doing this right.
So, I got out my silicon muffin trays (the mini sized ones) and did my best (I know it looks like my worst, but I honestly tried. I think I failed glue time in kindergarten. I need to ask my mom.) to fill each recess all the way with ice cream. It got kind of melty. Ugh.
But then I put the tray in the freezer. Guess what I did wrong? I put the silicone mold into my pull out freezer drawer, not the stand up deep freezer. So, when I thought four hours was enough, it actually wasn’t.
How Long Does Food Need To Freeze Before Freeze Drying
Not all food needs to be frozen before going into the freeze dryer, but anything that needs to stay frozen to keep its shape or consistency should go into the freezer for at least eight hours. Four hours just doesn’t seem to cut it.
After my short four hours in the pull out freezer, I scraped the still kind of soft ice cream lumps from the tray. Look at how sloppy they turned out. I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I was highly irritated and then I resolved to do actual scoops the next time. You’ll have to check out my video on how they turned out. My son was my taste tester and he did a terrific job!
Look at what happened! These scoops must have melted in the freeze dryer before finishing completely. They broke up into smaller pieces which worked just fine, but they were not bite size and they weren’t as pretty as I eventually do get them to look. However, they were DELICIOUS. So much so, I had to do more. Stay tuned for the other flavors I do and SELL!
Can You Freeze Dry Ice Cream Cones
This was a huge question my kids had. We have a serious obsession with novelty ice cream treats, especially anything chocolate related.
I made sure these were frozen hard and I cut them in half longways. They weren’t easy and they made a mess, but it worked and they went into the freeze dryer rather easily.
The ice cream cones didn’t have a melting issue. They actually held their form really well.
You can see how the ice cream pulled away from the chocolate shell inside the cone. The ice cream freeze dried well and became it’s normal firm, solid and almost crumbly form which was great.
Look closely at how even the waffle cones kind of break down a bit, turn into a crispier cracker style.
They tasted great, but I would consider these a FAIL.
As you can see, the chocolate didn’t freeze dry well at all. The sugar and fats in the chocolate made it next to impossible for the lyophilization process to complete. The chocolate was melty because the trays get VERY hot while trying to make the water content turn into vapor.
I ended up NOT packaging the cones because I didn’t feel confident with the end results. They could go bad later, etc.
Can I Freeze Dry A Fat Boy Ice Cream Sandwich
Oh, the Fat Boy Ice Cream Sandwiches aren’t just plain ice cream. They’re… Like the KING of ice cream sandwiches. They’re huge and thick and really creamy. Our family prefers the strawberry flavored ones so that’s what I loaded up on. They have a lot more flavors. What’s your favorite?
How Do You Prep An Ice Cream Sandwich for Freeze Drying?
Personally, I cut these sandwiches into much smaller bites. This is because of how much like crackers they are when they’re finished.
These are square shaped and huge. I literally cut them into quarters.
Look at how amazing they look! Regardless of my horrible photography skills.
Aren’t they pretty on the trays?
Don’t be fooled. They look eerily similar when they came out compared to when they were put in. They look the same until you touch them.
You can literally take them apart in layers. I grabbed the top part of this one to pick it up and take a picture and, uh, it came apart, which is totally fine and worked out for the pictures, but kind of irritated me for packaging.
I did the normal sized ice cream sandwiches as well. These ones are the banana split versions. They freeze dry nicely and are fun to eat when cut up into the bite sizes as well.
How Do I Reconstitute Frozen Ice Cream
I wouldn’t try to return these to their natural state. If you do a different flavor of ice cream like vanilla, chocolate, or some other delicious flavor WITHOUT chunks, you could put them in your cup of hot cocoa or your coffee. They would dissolve into creamy goodness and float on the top of your delicious drink like a marshmallow on cocoa but with more attitude and commitment.
These need to be eaten like cookies and savored slowly. As they reconstitute in your mouth, the creaminess will surprise you and the preserved flavor will leave you wanting more.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
HOW DO I FREEZE DRY ICE CREAM TREATS?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum. This collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it and an end in sight!
WHAT SETTINGS DO I USE TO FREEZE DRY ICE CREAM TREATS?
On the Harvest Right freeze drier – this works on all sizes – after putting the trays inside the drum on the shelves, I put in the drum cover and then tighten the handle as I lock it shut. On the computer touch screen, I selected START > LIQUID > FROZEN (wait the cooling 30 minutes with your item in the freezer until it’s cool, load into the FD) > CONTINUE. After inputting the settings and making sure my drain tube was closed, I walked away.