Ham, spring vegetables and cream pies are the traditional staples of Easter dinner. If you’re like most enthusiastic holiday cooks, you’ve made enough for an army. If you have a home freeze dryer, all that extra food can actually serve you well in the days ahead. Yes, you can even freeze dry the pie.
Freeze Drying Ham
Place slices of ham on the freeze drying trays and freeze dry with any other leftovers. Store ham in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber until you’re ready to use them. To rehydrate, dip in warm water until it’s fully rehydrated. Pat it with a paper towel and it’s just like when it was fresh. Warm in the oven or microwave, if needed. Rehydrated ham is perfect for fast and easy omelets, sandwiches and bean soups. And, you’ll never know it was freeze dried.
Freeze Drying Vegetables
You can preserve any vegetable in the freeze dryer. Fill your trays with any vegetables that you’d like. You cal also freeze dry vegetables with your ham or desserts. The great thing about a freeze dryer is you can mix and match what you put on each tray – there won’t be any flavor transfer. Even freeze dry things like leftover mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes. They can be rehydrated with a little hot water and taste exactly the same as they did before freeze drying. There are several ways to rehydrate vegetables; you can place in boiling water on the stove, add directly to a soup, or slowly rehydrate in a bowl slowing adding water and stirring, plus heat, as necessary. Freeze dried vegetables are actually delicious crunchy snacks by themselves or spritzed with olive oil and sprinkled with seasoned salt.
Freeze Drying Breads
Leftover breads and rolls can also be freeze dried and used later to make stuffing or bread pudding. Cut rolls in smaller pieces, or lay slices on trays to freeze dry. Use in recipes later the same way you might use croutons or bread crumbs. Or, dip into an egg mixture to rehydrate and make french toast. Or, place in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel and let the bread slowly absorb the water back in on a counter or in a fridge until it’s ready to use like fresh bread again.
Freeze Drying Cream Pies
Just in case you have leftover pie, you can freeze dry it. We’ll warn you though: freeze dried pie is a whole new delight. To freeze dry cream pies, place thin slices on freeze drying trays or mash up the leftover pie(s) and scoop with a small cookie dough scoop and place little bite-size balls on the tray to freeze dry on a standard setting. Trust us, you’ll want to give the freeze dried version of your favorite cream pie a nibble. They make the most unique treats for after school snacks or your next hike. You’ll have a hard time just eating one.