Secret Flavor Booster: Freeze-Dried Corn
Photo: Kemp Minifie
After reading this week’s Gourmet Live
article about Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, I was amazed to discover freeze-dried corn, ground to a powder in the blender, is the secret ingredient that gives her Crack Pie its unique flavor. Once you know, you kick yourself for not having been able to instantly identify that familiar burst of sunny sweetness you get with your first bite from a hot buttered ear of corn. It’s a brilliant way to max out everything we love about corn in the first place.
Leave it to the wonderfully-quirky mind of pastry-chef Christina Tosi to look at a bag of freeze-dried corn— marketed these days as a crunchy, low-fat snack—and think, what would happen if I ground this up and added it to cookies, pie fillings, or ice cream? Tosi doesn’t stop at freeze-dried corn: Freeze-dried fruit, such as cherries and blueberries, are also ground and added to her signature “crumbs” which act like little flavor bombs. Think Pop Rocks minus the fizz.
Thanks to Tosi I’ll never look at freeze-dried corn or raspberries, or pineapple the same way again. The possibilities are endless!
When shopping, opt for freeze-dried over dehydrated. The freeze-drying process removes more moisture than dehydration. Tosi warns you in the beginning of her soon to be released cookbook, Momofuko Milk Bar, to keep it dry. If moisture gets to it, she says, “It will make you very sad.”