Custard is a delicious addition to a dessert. You can have it either hot or cold. Pour it over crumbles, pies, steamed puddings, bread pudding, and so much else. If you are making a trifle, cold custard can be one of the layers.
However, is it possible to freeze it? Dairy generally doesn’t freeze that well. It has a tendency to split and become grainy. However, if you are careful during the defrosting process, you can successfully freeze custard and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze and defrost it.
How To Freeze Custard
1. Make the custard.
2. Cool down the custard.
Transfer the custard into a cold bowl to speed up the cooling process. You don’t want to leave it at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria might start to form, and you could be sick when you come to eat the custard.
3. Put the custard into airtight containers.
It is a good idea to divide the custard into meal-size portions to avoid having to throw any away. Put a label on the container with the contents and date frozen.
Tips For Freezing Custard
- Don’t defrost the custard in the microwave. This will make it split and it may become grainy.
- Freeze in portion sizes to avoid wastage. The custard will only last for two to three days in the fridge.
- Remember to put a label on the containers so you know when you put them in the freezer. If you have made flavored custards, write the flavors on the label as you won’t know what the custard is by just looking at it.
- Don’t think that because you put the custard in the freezer, it will turn into ice cream. Yes, ice cream does have a custard base but there are other things that need to be done to turn it into ice cream, such as aerating the custard while it is freezing. If you do want to turn the custard into ice cream, you will need to follow a recipe for ice cream.
For How Long Can You Freeze Custard?
Custard can be kept in the freezer for up to three months although the sooner you use it, the better it will taste.
How Do You Defrost Custard?
You may be a bit distressed at the state of your custard when you come to defrost it but fear not, we are here to tell you how to get a smooth custard back. It will take some time but it is worth it. This is how to do it.
1. Take the custard out of the freezer.
Put it on your countertop and leave it to defrost at room temperature. It should take around two hours which is the maximum time you should leave food at room temperature. After this time, bacteria can start to form.
2. Put the custard in a saucepan.
Warm the custard over a low heat. Every 20 seconds, give it a whisk. This will help the custard to regain its texture and stop it from sticking to the pan. When it is warm, turn the heat up a little and heat for around two minutes. Keep stirring it to stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You can add a tablespoon of warm milk to the custard. This helps to improve the texture and ensures you get a smooth custard. Don’t allow the custard to boil. Take it off the heat just before it reaches boiling point. It is then ready to use with your favorite dessert.
Can You Refreeze Custard?
No, it’s not a good idea to refreeze your custard. As we have said, custard splits when it is frozen and defrosted and takes some work for it to regain its original texture. If you refreeze it, it will be difficult to get this texture back. This is why it is best to freeze custard in meal-size portions.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Custard?
Custard, like most dairy products, doesn’t freeze particularly well, but if you are determined to freeze custard, carefully follow our instructions, particularly about defrosting, and you should have a good result. Even if it doesn’t have quite the same texture as it had before it was frozen, it will probably still taste good.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing custard but if you are still curious about freezing custard or about custard in general, we have answered a few questions here.
Can you freeze trifle?
Unfortunately, trifle is not a dessert to be frozen. It is made of alcohol-soaked cake, custard, jelly, fruit, and whipped cream. It will suffer major changes in each layer if frozen. As we have said, there are steps you need to take when defrosting custard and you can’t do this if it is a layer in a trifle. You can, of course, freeze the custard separately and then make the trifle with the defrosted custard (see also Can You Freeze Trifle?). Trifle as a dessert is best stored in the fridge with a layer of cling film covering it. It will last for two to three days.
Can you eat frozen custard?
There’s nothing stopping you from eating frozen custard. It’s completely safe. However, it isn’t ice cream and it won’t taste as good. To make ice cream you make a custard base, but you will need to stir it every hour for three hours.
Can you flavor custard?
Yes, you can and most can be frozen in the same way as simple custard. One of the most popular is spiced eggnog custard which is a mixture of heavy cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and nutmeg. Some people add brandy (see also Freezing Brandy Butter: Is It A Good Idea?) or rum but alcohol doesn’t freeze that well so if you intend to freeze this custard we suggest that you don’t add the alcohol until you have defrosted it. It is a great Christmas custard. Another winter warmer is spiced gingerbread custard which has the addition of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. You can add cranberries to the custard and this is good to have at Thanksgiving. Other great custards include orange, peppermint, and chocolate.
What can I do with my defrosted custard apart from pouring it over desserts?
There are so many options. You don’t just have to pour it over a pie, a crumble, or a cobbler. You could make a baked custard, a Greek bougatsa, which is a custard pie in phyllo pastry, a vanilla custard tart, or even a custard cake. You can even make a savory custard and use it in moussaka, vegetable bread pudding, pasta bake, butternut squash custard, and a creamy corn custard.