Freeze Dried Strawberry Recipe: Strawberry Lemon Blondies
There are few flavor combinations more delicious than strawberry and lemon, especially on a hot summer day or as a mid-winter pick-me-up. That’s why we love Strawberry Lemon Blondies, a recipe that is sure to give you that delicious blend of sweet and tart. Even the best bakers feel some trepidation when a recipe calls for fresh fruit, especially strawberries that are so full of juice. Fresh fruit can sometimes completely alter the consistency of your baked good. That’s why seasoned bakers love freeze-dried strawberries. Freeze-dried strawberries offer the same tart flavor and texture without ruining the rest of the recipe. If you are ready to make a treat that is sure to please even the pickiest palate, give this Freeze Dried Strawberry Lemon Blondie recipe a try.
FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRY LEMON BLONDIES RECIPE
A dessert bar like, Freeze-Dried Strawberry Lemon Blondies, combines the best elements of cookies, cakes, and brownies into one dessert. When you think of a dessert bar, think brownie texture, cookie ingredients, and cake topping. What makes freeze-dried strawberries preferable to fresh strawberries is this recipe? You never know how juicy a fresh strawberry will be; fresh strawberries can easily over saturate your batter and make your dessert soupy.
Freeze-Dried Strawberry Lemon Blondies Ingredients:
For The Crust:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
For The Filling:
3/4 cup lemon juice
4 TBSP frozen lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries, roughly crushed
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Powdered sugar for dusting.
Freeze Dried Strawberry Lemon Blondies Instructions:
For The Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Using the paddle attachment in your stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter until creamy. Gradually mix in flour, lemon zest, and salt until the mixture is crumbly. Press this mixture into a 9x13 pan and prick it with a fork several times. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling, but keep your oven on.
For The Filling:
In a large bowl whisk eggs and sugar until fully combined. Add the lemon juice and lemonade concentrate and whisk until combined. Pour in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and again whisk until fully combined. Fold in the freeze-dried strawberries.
With the crust still warm, pour the filling over the crust and smooth even with a spatula. Bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the middle is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place into the fridge and let set up for 2 hours. Remove from fridge and sprinkle more powdered sugar on top.
FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRIES 101
First, we need to clear up the difference between freeze-dried foods and dehydrated food. When you dehydrate your food you are heating it to the point that most of the moisture is gone from the food. Beef jerky is an example of dehydrated food. It has a chewy texture, and you wouldn’t use it in a recipe that calls for beef. The same is true with dehydrated strawberries. They are chewier and you can make these at home by baking them in the oven for several hours using low heat. Freeze-drying is a process where fresh fruit is rapidly frozen at temperatures below freezing. At this point, a vacuum forms around the food, creating a process called sublimation. Sublimation is a process where frozen water crystals go straight from their solid-state to a vapor state, skipping the liquid state altogether.
The beauty of freeze-dried strawberries is that they are genuinely delicious on their own, but they are also great for baking. Freeze-dried strawberries are great for snacks to add to a nutty trail mix to give you a balanced snack. You can also add them to baked goods, not only because they bake very well and don’t add unnecessary moisture to the baked goods, but also because they are deliciously tart. They plump up while they bake, absorbing a little bit of moisture from the baked good, making them a delicious addition to the recipe as opposed to using fresh fruit which can sometimes become slimy in texture when it bakes.
It’s not necessary to rehydrate your strawberries if you are looking for a quick, crunchy snack. But if you want to rehydrate the fruit, it’s an easy process that just requires water. The process of freeze-drying food rapidly removes the water from the fruit, and those spaces where the water once was is still in the fruit (That’s why it is crunchy when it is freeze-dried–there are air pockets). When you rehydrate the fruit, the water goes back into those spaces. To rehydrate, simply cover the freeze-dried strawberries in water until they’ve absorbed the water, then pour the remaining water out. Don’t let it sit too long in the water after the strawberries have absorbed the water. Letting them sit too long in water will cause the flavor to leech into the water.