I have been drying citrus peels for a while now and then taking them to my vita-mix to be pulverized. I use it to flavour foods, whether sweet or savory to get the citrus flavour without the extra liquid. I have loved the way it works. My friend brought back some freeze-dried strawberries from her trip abroad. So, naturally, I tried to do the same thing. It didn’t work. Maybe it wasn’t dry enough. I wasn’t able to find freeze-dried fruit without anything added. They usually had sugar, salt, preservatives added. I wasn’t interested in any of those additives.
Then, I was looking at a show and I saw someone using a similar product. I found out the company that sells pulverized freeze-dried fruit is Chef Rubber. Of course, I went crazy. I bought nearly all of the flavours. The first thing I tried was the banana powder. I made a banana pudding. My family had no idea the banana was from a powder. It literally tastes and looks like I pureed bananas to make the pudding. I used the strawberry to make Chantilly crème. Again, no clue.
I like this product because it’s consistent. Whenever you buy fruit, you are never sure about the sweetness, acidity or fruity flavour. I’m definitely a fresh and natural everything kind of girl. So, at first, I was a little hesitant to use the powders. The only ingredient is simply the fruit.
Using powders is simple. The only thing you have to remember is, it has to be reconstituted. So, for instance, when I made the strawberry Chantilly crème. I added the strawberry powder to the cream and stirred until the cream softened the powder. I then whipped it.
I used it to make crème caramel. I flavoured the caramel with strawberry and used mango to flavour the custard. To be honest, I thought that because it was a powder and not the “real” fruit puree, it wouldn’t affect the consistency. I was wrong! The custard came out as if I made it with puree. In other words, it wasn’t smooth. The texture was as if it has fruit puree in it. So, it was smooth but not silky. However, the taste was very much mango!
I have to say, the powders are amazing, but plays with my mind. Even though using them, I know they behave like purees, when I actually use them to make food I forget that they actually “act” like the real fruit. For example, I used the guava powder in buttercream. I rehydrated the powder with milk. When I whipped in the rehydrated fruit, the butter cream thickened up! It should have loosened up. Then I remembered that guava natural has a lot of pectin. So, of course it would thicken up. That’s what guava do.
Enjoy the fruit powders. And let me know what you did with them.