Heavy cream is fantastically useful for nearly countless reasons, both in savory and sweet dishes, from a key ingredient in sauces, to desserts. You might be worried about it going off before you can use it.
Heavy cream can transform any dish, with a lovely silky texture and a smooth, creamy taste. Is there such a thing as too much cream? Will you use it before it goes off?
Well, you can take the pressure off, because you can freeze it. Whilst it looks delicate – and it is, depending on what you’re doing with it – it will freeze with no problem, but there is a trade-off.
A Caveat: Freezing Heavy Cream
While freezing heavy cream is a smart idea (see also Can You Freeze Buttermilk) to save it from going off, there is one thing you cannot do once it has thawed.
If you try to whip it, it won’t have that fantastically light, fluffy texture that you’ll need. So bear this in mind if you want to freeze heavy cream (see also Freezing Clotted Cream), you won’t be able to use it as whipped cream.
That doesn’t mean that defrosted heavy cream doesn’t have a plethora of uses, and you can still add it to a number of dishes to add some luxury (see also Can You Freeze Eggnog) and improve the whole thing.
It still does well as a topping for desserts (as well as in tasty treats such as Crème brûlée) or fruit, as well as the base for sauces, other desserts or hot drinks.
Can You Freeze Whipped Cream?
If you want to freeze heavy cream, but you also want to use it as whipped cream (see also Freezing Whipped Cream), you can whip it before you freeze it. You will need to prepare it properly, however.
Heavy cream will last in the fridge for a maximum of 3 weeks before it starts to deteriorate, so long as the temperature is below 40°F.
When you freeze heavy cream (see also Can You Freeze Double Cream), you can keep it there for up to 4 months before you need to use it, making it a versatile option.
So how do you do it?
How Do You Freeze Heavy Cream?
You can freeze heavy cream (see also Can You Freeze Single Cream) in its natural form. Because it’s thick and not watery, it’s easy to freeze.
It is worth taking the time to divide the cream into single portions before you freeze it, so you don’t defrost more than you need at any one time. You cannot refreeze heavy cream.
To freeze heavy cream, you can either use silicon molds, or plastic containers that won’t lose their shape when they freeze.
If you’re going for a plastic container, simply pour the cream into it, leaving two inches between the cream and the lid. This will give the cream some room to expand as it freezes.
Mark on it the storage date, and then freeze it!
For freezing heavy cream in silicone molds, put the cream into the molds and cover with tinfoil, and then freeze. You’ll need to ensure it stays flat, otherwise you’ll have cream all over the freezer!
After a couple of hours, make sure the cream has fully frozen, and remove from the molds. Pop these portions into a freezer bag, and place back in the freezer.
Not only will you save space in the freezer, but you’ll also be able to use the heavy cream as you need it.
To freeze whipped heavy cream, pop it into an airtight container and stick it in the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Heavy Cream?
The best way to defrost heavy cream is to transfer it to the fridge, and let it warm up overnight.
It will be much runnier than normal, and it will separate to some degree. Stir it, and it’s ready to go.
To defrost heavy cream which was frozen in its whipped state, don’t let it thaw completely. Take it out of the freezer and only let it thaw for around 15 minutes maximum, where it can then be used on desserts such as brownies.
Heavy cream is a fantastic ingredient which has many uses in both cooking and baking. You cannot go wrong with having large quantities of the stuff in your house, as you can freeze it with ease.
It also helps that you can freeze it in its whipped form. It makes it much easier to just take it out of the freezer and set it aside for a little while, before adding it into any dish of your choice, as you don’t have to worry about whipping it.
If your kitchen gets especially hot, this is a good solution, as if the temperature is too hot, the cream won’t whip at all.
Freezing heavy cream cuts waste dramatically, especially if you buy it on sale, as it will cut out any potential waste. It also helps curb the baking time, as you save time on the prep beforehand by freezing whipped heavy cream.