Even a small amount of rich cream adds a sense of luxury to every dish. The slightly sweet and savory taste that the creams add to the dish has been everyone’s favorite since ancient times. However, sometimes you are left with excessive cream that can’t be used at that moment. This cream rests in the fridge for a few hours before going bad.
Not necessarily! There’s a better way to store cream and retain its freshness and texture. The cream is of many types and forms. Some are light, some are heavy, and others are fluffy. However, there is always a way to preserve extra cream to use at a later time. In this article, I will discuss how you can preserve cream and how to defrost cream without making it separate from the water.
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Can You Freeze Heavy Cream?
Having a powerful freezer in your kitchen can reduce your monthly budget. It is because the freezer allows you to preserve almost anything to last a whole month and sometimes even more. You can even store dairy products in a freezer to improve their shelf life, and heavy cream is no exception.
You can easily freeze heavy cream while it’s still fresh and edible. However, there are few things that you should keep in mind. For instance, freezing heavy cream changes its texture, and the cream separates when thawed. Similarly, freezing heavy cream nearing its expiry doesn’t help with preserving or extending life. In this case, the only thing you can do is either consume it within the limited time or throw it out if it’s already expired.
The cream will separate when you try to defrost heavy cream. The amount of separation depends on how well you preserved the cream and the method of thawing. If the cream separation is slight, you can retain the fresh texture by lightly whipping the cream with a fork till it recombines.
How to Freeze Heavy Cream?
In order to freeze heavy cream, there are a few steps that you need to keep in mind. Otherwise, you may ruin a batch of fresh cream.
The first thing you should check before preparing the heavy cream is to check for its expiry date. If the quality is low and the cream is nearly expired, it would be best not to proceed with the freezing process.
The second step is to divide the heavy cream into smaller batches and freeze them separately. This method is fairly suitable if you have a large batch of heavy cream at hand. You can try to evaluate how much cream you need for each serving and divide the batch accordingly.
You can use molds, bowls, and plastic bags to freeze whipping cream and heavy cream. For example, if you only need a small amount of cream, you can freeze it in the ice-cube mold. In the case of plastic bags, remove any extra air by squeezing it out of the bag.
Label the cream with the date of freezing and a best before the date to avoid any confusion in the future. Usually, frozen heavy cream can last for a whole month without losing its quality.
Freezing Small Amounts of Cream:
The best way to preserve double cream is to store it in smaller batches. This way, you don’t have to defrost the whole batch while you only need a little cream for the dish. In this regard, ice cube trays make the best molds for heavy cream. Each cube of cream equals 2 tbsp, and you can add multiple cubes for larger servings.
Moreover, once the cubes are frozen, you can transfer the cream cubes into plastic bags. However, make sure that the cube doesn’t start melting or thawing during the transfer process. Secondly, no foreign material should come in contact with the cream; otherwise, it will go bad very quickly.
Freezing Large Amounts:
When it comes to creamy gourmets like cakes and pies, the amount of cream you need is a lot. Therefore, you should be well-prepared for such occasions, especially if you are not planning to freeze milk instead of cream. It means that you can also freeze the milk, thaw it and then extract fresh cream whenever you need it.
In any case, you can use the cream carton and plastic containers to freeze a large amount of cream. However, make sure to leave some room for the cream to expand; otherwise, it will spill all over the freezer. In the case of a carton, you can pour out some of the creams to make room for expansion. Similarly, use a larger plastic container with at least one inch of free space for expansion.
How to Defrost Frozen Heavy Cream?
The easiest step of preserving heavy cream or half and half is the defrosting process. It is because most of the recipes don’t require any thawing before use. However, there are three ways to defrost and use frozen heavy cream:
- The first one works the best for cooking dishes like soups and stews. You don’t need to thaw the cream before use. Simply toss it in the dish while cooking, and the cream will slowly melt with the heat.
- You can also thaw heavy cream slowly in the fridge. This minimizes the amount of separation and prevents the cream from going bad. However, this method requires you to slowly defrost frozen cream in the fridge overnight.
- The fastest way to defrost cream is to leave it out on the shelf. Cream and other dairy products don’t solidify like ice and thus take a minimum time to thaw. In the case of frozen heavy cream, you need to let it sit on the shelf at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. However, this method has maximum chances of cream separation.
Tips and Tricks:
When it comes to dairy products, there are numerous possibilities. If you have leftover cream and you are not a fan of freezing cream, there are still a lot of things you can make. Some tips and tricks related to heavy cream are:
- Always freeze cream in smaller batches as refreezing thawed cream isn’t an option.
- You can add cream to the soup to make it thick and creamy.
- Cream in the pasta sauce or mac n cheese adds a lot of creamy flavor and texture.
- You can use heavy cream to make fluffy, whipping cream for toppings.
- The cream can be turned into butter, ice cream, and even cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I refreeze defrosted cream?
No! Refreezing thawed cream isn’t an option. The cream separates when thawed the first time, and it can cause food poisoning if you try to refreeze the cream.
How to defrost cream cheese quickly?
If the cream cheese comes in a plastic wrapping, you can defrost it by placing it in hot water for a few minutes. Similarly, you can also defrost cream cheese by letting it thaw overnight in the fridge.
Can you freeze heavy whipping cream?
Yes, heavy whipping cream can be frozen to use at a later time. However, the texture, taste, and consistency of defrosted cream are very different than fresh whipping cream.
Cream is the key ingredient in several cuisines and gourmet meals. However, you are often left with extra cream that goes to the water. Well, not anymore! You can freeze cream to use at a later time to save food and your money.