My first less than perfect freeze drying experience – black garlic!
I knew that whole cloves of raw garlic needed to be cut – at least quartered, before running through the freeze dryer. The thing with fruits and vegetables with skin is that the skin is meant to hold in moisture so items like blueberries, cranberries, etc., the skin needs to be pricked to allow for the moisture to be extracted.
With the black garlic, it’s like a paste almost so I figured it would be fine just to spread it out and run the cycle.
The first cycle, I ran two trays of black garlic and two trays of Hatch chile peppers. The peppers were dry as could be – the black garlic was not even nearly dry. It was sticky and when I ate a few pieces, you’d never have known it had been through the freeze dryer.
It didn’t smell like garlic so I ran those two trays a second time, with two trays of cantaloupe. This morning, the cantaloupe was completely done. The black garlic wasn’t so sticky and pasty, but it was not done.
I have two more trays of cantaloup and I’m going to run those with the two trays of black garlic one more time. I won’t try that again. From now on, the black garlic gets vacuum sealed in bags and goes into the freezer.