We've all been there before: A recipe you love, but don't make often, calls for heavy cream. You go to the store and buy it. However, once you've made your meal, you have quite a bit of heavy cream left over and no way to use it. Luckily, if you properly freeze heavy cream, you can store it for one to two months in the freezer and then thaw it when you need it again. However, the main question about freezing heavy cream is whether or not it will be the same after it thaws.
The answer is yes, for the most part. It really depends on what type of recipe you want to use it for. If you plan to cook a hot meal with frozen heavy cream on the stove or in a crockpot, you can use it as is -- without even the need to thaw it. If you plan to bake a casserole or dessert with it, you may need to thaw it first, but can still use it as you normally would. However, if you plan to whip your previously frozen heavy cream, things get a bit more complicated.
Cooking And Baking With Frozen Heavy Cream
Frozen heavy cream is perfect for cooking dishes on the stovetop or baking them in the oven. For cooking, you probably don't even have to thaw the cream, especially if you freeze it in an easy-to-portion container like an ice cube tray or muffin tin. This is because for most recipes –- like a creamy chicken and wild rice soup –- the frozen heavy cream will melt during the cooking process and then easily mix into your dish. However, if you choose to freeze the heavy cream in one block, you may have to let it thaw overnight in the fridge before using it in order to measure it correctly for the recipe.
You can also easily use frozen heavy cream in baking recipes like a coconut cream cake or classic peach and cream pie. However, for these recipes, you will likely need to thaw the heavy cream in the fridge overnight first. This is because most baked recipes call for a liquid heavy cream to be mixed with other ingredients before being popped into the oven. For food safety, you should always thaw heavy cream in the refrigerator and not outside on the counter. Once the cream is thawed, you may notice that it has separated a little, but this is normal. To fix it, simply shake the cream or give it a good mix before adding it to your recipe.
Whipping Heavy Cream That's Been Frozen
The one negative aspect of freezing heavy cream is that, depending on who you ask, it's either difficult or downright impossible to whip the cream after freezing. This is because the process of freezing separates the water from the fat to make ice crystals which change the texture of the heavy cream once it has been thawed. The longer the cream spends in the freezer, the more ice crystals form and the harder it will be to whip into an airy and fluffy cream.
Therefore, if you need heavy cream to make vanilla whipped cream or a lovely tiramisu you may want to use fresh cream instead of frozen. However, it is important to note that you can freeze heavy cream that has already been whipped and then use it later. This works because the added sugar helps the whipped cream keep its texture while frozen and prevents it from separating. So, if you know you will use heavy cream in the future for a whipped dessert, the best choice may be to whip it first and then freeze it for later.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.