Fruit powder, a.k.a. crushed or pulverized freeze-dried fruit, is about to become one of your new favorite ingredients. Not because it replaces fresh fruit—it doesn’t—but because it allows you to do things you can’t do with fresh! Fruit powder adds concentrated fresh fruit flavor without the moisture and volume of fresh fruit, and without the jammy cooked flavor that comes from cooking fresh produce to reduce and concentrate it.
You can use powder to flavor white chocolate, ganache, marshmallow, meringue, frostings and buttercreams—and any other recipe that will not tolerate the addition of much liquid, or any liquid at all. You buy freeze-dried fruit in better supermarkets and crush it yourself, or buy powder online.
In addition to strawberry marshmallows, here are 5 more ways to use freeze-dried fruit (or veggies!) and the powder thereof:
Stir 10 grams or more crushed or powdered freeze-dried raspberries into 1/2 cup Greek or regular yogurt. Chill to hydrate the fruit—2 hours or until needed. Stir and sweeten to taste with a little honey, sugar, or whatever sweetener you prefer.
Gradually beat 4 cups (16 ounces/455 grams) powdered sugar and 6 to 7 tablespoons (28 to 32 grams) strawberry powder into 1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) softened unsalted butter. Gradually add 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or water) when the mixture seems too dry or stiff. Beat until fluffy and spreadable. Adjust the consistency by beating in a little more liquid if necessary. Keep in mind that both flavor and color with intensify over several hours!
To flavor French buttercream, dilute the fruit powder with just enough water (and lemon juice if you like) to make a loose paste and add to taste. Flavor and color will intensity with time.
Melt real white chocolate. Stir in fruit powder to taste. Use to coat truffles or nut clusters, drizzle on cookies, coat cherries or strawberries, or make sauce or ganache with it. Flavor and color will intensify with time.
Experiment by folding fruit powder into meringue batters. For exact recipes—such as Banana Pecan Meringues and Raspberry Meringue with Nuts and Chocolate—check out my book, Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies (Artisan, 2010).
Stir 16 to 20 grams crushed—if you want some fruit pieces in the finished whipped cream—or powdered freeze-dried berries into 1 cup of whipping cream with 1 tablespoon of water (to compensate for part of the water that will be absorbed by the powder). Chill for an hour or so to hydrate the fruit. Whip as usual, sweetening to taste. This is so good you will be tempted to simply eat it with a spoon. (You can omit the water if you want an extra-thick and rich mixture.)
Have you experimented with fruit powder? Tell us how in the comments.