Crème brûlée is a fancy French dessert that is loved all over the world. The torched caramel crust makes it seem like a tough one to make at home, but the reality is far from it.
But what if you make a bit too much of it? When stored in the fridge, it can stay fresh for a couple of days only. But luckily, leftover crème brûlée can easily be stored in the freezer for several months. In this article, we’ll show you how.
How To Freeze Crème Brûlée?
The main problem with freezing crème brûlée actually lies in its texture. Once thawed, this dessert tends to “weep.” Weeping is a term bakers use to describe a topping that oozes moisture. This doesn’t really affect the taste of the dessert, but it gives it an unappealing appearance.
Your crème brûlée can weep for numerous reasons. Thickeners and food starch are often the cause of weeping, and so are coagulating proteins. Then again, moisture condensation can cause the same thing. In short, there are numerous reasons why your crème brûlée might be weeping.
But the good thing is, there are ways you can lower the chance of that happening. The best way to do that is to bake the crème brûlée before freezing. One thing you should make sure of is to not overcook or undercook your base. It needs to be set properly, otherwise, it will create tiny ice particles when stored in the freezer. As a result, those icicles will melt and cause your dessert to weep once thawed.
Generally, the best way to freeze your crème brûlée is to freeze all the parts individually. That way, your dessert won’t separate once taken out of the freezer. For the custard, it’s best to freeze it as soon as you make it. That’s because it’s made of eggs, which means it has a pretty short shelf life.
As for the base, you want it to be set properly. You want it to be neither too hard nor too soft before you put it into the freezer. So what you should do is pour it into a suitable ramekin and bake it in the oven. Once it’s done, take it out and leave it to cool down. It needs to be completely cold before you can put it into the freezer, or else you might thaw other frozen food that is in there.
Once the crème brûlée base is cool enough, grab tin foil or cling wrap, whichever you have close at hand. You want to cover the ramekin with it. Then, use rubber bands or tape to further secure the wrapping. This prevents it from moving once inside the freezer. Once you do that, place the ramekin inside a freeze-safe airtight container. Before you put it into the freezer, write the storage date onto it. Once frozen, crème brûlée has a shelf life of roughly 6 months, so you want to make sure it’s still fresh once you take it out of the freezer.
If you plan on storing crème brûlée for later, it’s best to do each layer separately. But what if you want to freezer leftovers?
In this case, there’s no need to transfer your crème brûlée to a separate container. Well, unless your dessert is packed in a glass dish. In case you don’t know, glass can shatter in freezing temperatures, so you need to transfer your crème brûlée to another, freeze-safe container.
Thawing Frozen Crème Brûlée
Storing crème brûlée into the freezer might be a bit complicated, but defrosting is a piece of cake. The only thing you need to do is put it into the fridge, where it can thaw over the course of several hours. Leftover crème brûlée requires no special process and you can eat it as soon as it defrosts. But for homemade dessert, you should sprinkle some sugar on top of the custard once it thaws. Then, torch it to form that classic caramel crust crème brûlée is known for.
Crème brûlée is a delicate dessert, so knowing that you can easily freeze it at home is quite a surprise. This means that you can enjoy your favorite dessert at home, any time you want it.