Velvety and rich, heavy cream brings a sense of luxuriousness and indulgence to both sweet and savory dishes. The neutral flavor of this dairy product makes it ideal for use in a variety of cuisines and meal types.
Due to its richness and high-fat content, you may only require a small amount at a time and can easily find yourself left with more heavy cream than you can use.
Luckily, there is no need to toss what you cannot use before it expires because heavy cream can be frozen to extend its shelf life. Here is everything you need to know to successfully preserve heavy cream in the freezer.
Types of Heavy Cream
Cream is a dairy product made from the high-fat layer which is skimmed off the top of milk. Cream can have a yellow tinge (hence the name of the off-white color, cream) or it can be white, depending on the feed or diet-type of the cows, or goats from which it is produced.
Cream is popularly used as an airy whipped topping on sweet dishes. By incorporating air through beating the heavy cream at high speed, it firms up to form peaks.
This airy fluff can be left plain or flavored and is used as a topping for hot and cold drinks, cakes, scones, pancakes, waffles, tarts, fruit, and pavlova.
Pouring heavy cream is used in many sweet and savory dishes such as stews, soups, curries, custards, puddings, and sauces. It is also blended into alcoholic drinks such as the making of Irish cream and eggnog.
Can Heavy Cream Be Frozen?
Yes, save money and food waste by storing leftover heavy cream in the freezer to keep it from going off. Heavy cream needs to be frozen while it is still fresh.
Placing it in the freezer will not renew or improve the quality of the product, so if it is already nearing its expiry date, it is best to throw it away.
Although placing it in the freezer will prolong the shelf life of the heavy cream, it is still best to use it as soon as possible. The product will continue to deteriorate over time, the longer it stays frozen.
If the cream separates slightly on thawing, simply give it a good whisk to reconstitute the smooth consistency. Heavy cream can be used for baking, cooking, or whipped up after it has been stored in the freezer.
How To Freeze Heavy Cream
Step 1: Quality Check
Check the quality of the heavy cream before freezing ensuring that the cream is fresh and not nearing its expiry date.
Step 2: Portion
To avoid having to defrost the entire batch of heavy cream when you only need a little, it is best to divide it into smaller portions for freezing. You can do this by pouring the heavy cream into ice cube trays or silicone muffin trays for slightly larger portions.
Place the muffin tray on a baking sheet to keep it sturdy and level if needed. Put it in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours until completely frozen.
Step 3: Pack
Remove the frozen cubes from the freezer, unmold, and place them into resealable freezer bags. Before sealing the freezer bags, press out all the air to avoid freezer burn and unnecessary contact with air.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
Label the packet or container with the contents and date to keep track of how long it has been frozen.
How To Thaw Frozen Heavy Cream
To defrost heavy cream, remove the portion you would like to use from the freezer and place it directly into the fridge, covered, to thaw for a few hours. On thawing, the heavy cream might split and slightly change in texture. Mix it well with a whisk to reconstitute its smooth consistency.
You can add frozen heavy whipping cream to soups and stews without thawing it. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time considering the addition of the frozen ingredient which drops the overall temperature of the dish and slows the cooking process.
If you are using heavy cream in a baked product, you have to thaw it before adding it to the batter.
Since freezing heavy whipping cream does not affect its taste, it is the perfect way to preserve this creamy dairy ingredient to save money and prevent food wastage. There are various ways to use frozen heavy cream, so do not hesitate to pop it into the freezer for future use.
Just remember, if you want the best out of your frozen heavy cream, it needs to be prepared properly for freezing and protected from contact with moisture and air.
Whether using your cream as a topping, in a pasta, soup, stew, sauce, dessert, or beverage, there’s no reason to let any leftovers go to waste now that you know heavy cream can be frozen successfully.