The first half of the sweet potato pie filling is done. Of all the things I’ve put through the freeze dryer, this was definitely the most trouble. I think it will be worth it but right now, I’m saying I doubt I’ll ever do it again!
November 21 – The sweet potatoes were boiled and mashed and the filling was made and poured into 8 freeze dryer trays to freeze in the home freezer before going into the freeze dryer (because the filling was not solid and if I put it in the freeze dryer, not frozen, because of the angle at which the freeze dryer sits, some of the filling would have spilled over.
November 22 – The freeze dryer was started. 13 hours to freeze, 14 hours to dry. There is a middle cycle and the length of that cycle is determined by the machine.
November 24 – Late on the night of the 24th, the freeze dryer was done. When I looked at the filling, I felt it needed more drying time. I put the trays back into the home freezer, defrosted the freeze dryer overnight.
November 25 – Put the 4 trays back into the freeze dryer.
November 27 – About 6 p.m., the freeze dryer was done. Vince said “This is like sweet potato brittle.” It was hard . . very hard. Some pieces I was able to break apart and put into the blender. Some pieces I had to use a mallet to break apart. I put it all in the blender (separate batches) and blended it to a powder.
I put 7 oz. in each jar. The lady who had done it already but 5 oz. but she didn’t put the milk in hers and I did. All I have to do . . or all I should have to do, is add water to get it to the desired consistency, then pour in melted butter, then pour it all into a pie shell and bake.
This is about 4.5 oz. – not enough to fill another 7 oz. jar so I kept it separate and am going to make a little pie later today. I’ll share how it goes.
I had planned to have enough for 17 or 18 pies. These four trays had quite a bit more than the next four trays. I got 10 jars this time and I’ll probably get 6 or 7 out of the next load, for a total of 16 or 17 . . enough to make 16 or 17 pies.
My recommendations for anyone using a freeze dryer to make this:
- Do not try this unless you have a heavy duty blender. I was concerned about my Vita-Mix while doing this.
- Make thin layers, even if it means having to run multiple loads.