NULL HYPOTHESIS 17 (Strawberry Rhubarb Pie): Freeze-Dried Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Is At Least As Tasty As Fresh
Conclusion: We rejected this hypothesis. Your mileage may vary.
Abstract: We cut up several store bought strawberry rhubarb pies. We froze them, and the cut them into slices. Once we freeze-dried them, one of the pies came out spongy and the other came out crunchy (both were fully dried), but they were inconsistent in flavor and the kids didn't like the taste of either, so we rejected our hypothesis.
2 Store-bought strawberry pies from the grocery store
1 Harvest Right freeze dryer tray with a silicone mat
Above: The top photo is of the pie before freeze-drying. The bottom photo is of the freeze-dried slices of the pie.
Froze the strawberry-rhubarb pie overnight
Started freeze drier to the non-liquid, pre-freeze setting (wait 30 mins.)
Sliced the frozen pie into roughly half inch slices (we turned the pie over which made slicing it easier without breaking the crust)
Arranged the pie slices on the tray
Once the pre-freeze cycle completed, placed the frozen trays in freeze-drier (with 3 other trays of food)
Started the freeze drying cycle
Removed pie slices from freeze-dryer
In prior posts, we weighed the trays even when it wasn't related to our hypothesis. We've stopped doing that to reduce the work involved.
The freeze-drier completed its ordinary cycle at about 24 hours. The temperature scanner showed an approximate average temperature of about 100° F. We did not find any cold spots, which means there was no frozen water remaining.
The kids ate the fresh pie without complaint (even the one that flipped over on the way home). One of the freeze-dried pies was really spongy, which didn't make sense to us. The second pie was very crunchy but the kids wouldn't eat much of it. I don't think I'd try it again. We decided the taste of fresh strawberry rhubarb pie is preferable to freeze-dried.