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Heavy cream is easily frozen for 3 to 6 months as long as it's kept in an airtight container. Upon thawing, the cream will be separated and need to be blended back together.
How to Freeze Heavy Cream
Heavy cream is a thick and creamy dairy product can be used to make whipped cream, or a variety of different foods such as pasta sauces, baked goods, soups or even additions to scrambled eggs or your coffee.
If you're anything like me, and you see a great sale at the store, you might stock up on heavy cream. Then, once you get home, you realize you can't use it all before it goes bad. Freezing it can help to extend its shelf life.
There are two important things to keep in mind before deciding to freeze heavy cream.
First, due to the fat content, it will separate when freezing. The fat molecules freeze differently than the water content. The crystalization caused during freezing then breaks apart the bonds which causes separation. It's still perfectly fine to use, but the texture will be different than its original form.
Second, you'll want to decide what you'll be using it for when you defrost it. This way you can portion it out before freezing so that you only have to defrost what you need at a time.
Freezing in a container or freezer bag
If you've determined that you'll be using heavy cream quickly or in bulk when defrosted, the best way to freeze it is in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Determine what size portions you'll ultimately want such as 1 cup, two cups or the whole carton.
- Grab your airtight container or freezer bag and pour your desired portion size into it.
- Due to the fact that liquids expand as they phrase, you'll want to make sure you leave 1 to 2 in of room either between the lid of your container and the heavy cream or at the top of the freezer bag.
- Place the lid on your container or zip your freezer bag shut. If you are using a freezer bag, do make sure to press any excess air out of the bag before fully sealing it.
- Take a pen or marker and label the bag or container with today's date. Then, toss it into your freezer.
- Note: If You're using freezer bags, for maximum storage space lay your bags flat to freeze them.
Freezing in an ice cube tray
If you've determined that you'll be using small portions when defrosting, freezing your heavy cream in an ice cube tray is the best and easiest way.
- To do this, take your ice cube tray and then for your heavy cream into each compartment. Make sure to leave a little space at the top of each compartment for the heavy cream to expand.
- Place your ice cube tray into your freezer for a few hours.
- Remove the ice cube tray once the heavy cream has frozen solid.
- Pop your cues of heavy cream out of the tray and toss them into a freezer bag or airtight container. If using a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out any air before fully sealing.
- Go ahead and label the container or freezer bag with the date and toss it back into the freezer.
Freezing in the carton
If you have an entire carton of heavy cream, it might be tempting to just toss it straight into the freezer. Although this method is not recommended, it is a time saver so if you want to try it you can.
A few notes:
- liquid expands when it's frozen. Due to this, you are carton may crack or a tear. To help eliminate this, you could open it and pour an inch or so out before freezing.
- The cartons not made for freezing. This means that it may not give as much protection as a freezer safe container or freezer bag. This could lead to quicker degradation and texture or flavor.
How to Defrost Heavy Cream
Defrosting heavy cream takes two simple steps. First, remove it from the freezer and pop it into the refrigerator overnight to thaw. If you have frozen a large bulk portion, it may take longer than overnight to fully defrost.
Once your heavy cream has thawed, you'll notice that it is a little grainy and separated. To get it back to a more normal texture, simply shake it vigorously, use a whisk to mix it together or stick it in the blender for a quick 10 to 15 seconds.
How to Use Thawed Heavy Cream
Thawed heavy cream doesn't have quite the smooth consistency as it does fresh. However, it can still be used for most of the same uses as It is when it's fresh such as:
- creamer for your coffee
- making scrambled eggs fluffier
- making cream-based pasta sauces
- making cream-based soups
- any other baked goods such as quiches or muffins. Here are a sample of several heavy cream recipes.
Freezing Heavy Cream FAQ
How to revive frozen heavy cream?
To revive frozen heavy cream, it needs to be whisked together for 15 - 30 seconds.
How long does heavy cream last in the fridge?
Heavy cream last in the fridge for around 3 to 4 weeks. However, once it's opened it usually should be used within 7 to 10 days for maximum freshness.
How long can heavy cream stay frozen?
Heavy cream can stay frozen for 3 to 6 months in maintain a similar quality with exception of the separation that happens upon thawing. It can be frozen for even longer and still be safe to use, however, the texture changes will continue to degrade over time.
How to Freeze Heavy Cream
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- Ice Cube Tray
- Heavy Cream
In the carton
- This method is not recommended, but can be done if time is of the essence.
- Simply pop the unopened carton straight into the freezer.
- notes:1) Liquids will expand when frozen, so the carton may tear or bulge.2) You could open it and pour an inch or two out, but at that point you might as well follow one of the two methods below.3) For extra protection, you can toss the whole carton into a freezer bag before putting it in the freezer.
In airtight container or freezer bag
- Portion the heavy cream into the amounts that you will use when defrosted.
- Pour the individual portions each into a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Seal your package up:container: place the lid onto the top of your container.bag: carefully press all the air out of the bag and then zip it shut.
- Label the package with the date and lay it flat into the freezer.
In ice cube tray
- Pour your heavy cream into the holes of the ice cube tray. Leave a little space at the top of each to leave room for expansion when frozen.
- Pop the tray into the freezer for a few hours until it is frozen solid.
- Remove from the freezer and pop the frozen cubes out of the tray
- Place the frozen cubes of heavy cream into a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Press all the air from the bag and zip it shut. If using a container, place the lid on top of it.
- Label the package with the date and toss it into the freezer.