Can you freeze cream?

Dear Cooks:

I love to make home-made ice cream in the summer – especially with summer fruits like peaches and blackberries. My husband went to the grocery store for me and I asked him to get heavy cream for ice cream and he got 6 liters – way too much! Can I freeze it? Thanks!

Nena in Canada

Dear Nena –

Heavy cream (at least 40% fat) freezes well – lighter creams and half and half do not hold up in the freezer. You can freeze the entire unopened carton, just double wrap in freezer bags. Thaw cream in the fridge, and shake the carton prior to opening – do not refreeze!

Here are some tips on freezing other dairy products – all items should be thawed in fridge and should not be refrozen:

Butter – Freeze only high-quality butter made from pasteurized cream. Double wrap store container in freezer bags.

Cheese – Hard or semi-hard cheeses can be frozen. Frozen cheese will be crumbly and a little dry and will not slice as well, but the flavor will be just as good as fresh cheese. Freeze cheese in small pieces – no more than ½ pound per chunk. Seal it in foil, freezer wrap, plastic wrap or a zip lock.

Cottage cheese – Cream style and dry cottage cheese and ricotta cheese can be frozen for a month. Cream style may separate when thawed.

Cream cheese – Block-style can be frozen for later use in cooking, dips or as icing.

Cheese food products, such as sauces, dips, or processed cheese usually freeze fine. If in real doubt, freeze a small quantity and check after 24 hours by thawing it. If pleased with the results, freeze the rest. Otherwise, do not freeze.

Ice cream – A plastic wrap laid tightly on the surface of partially used containers of ice cream helps prevent surface changes. Homemade ice cream is difficult to store for any length of time because it becomes grainy. Commercial products have added milk solids and gelatin to prevent this.

Milk – Pasteurized homogenized milk may be frozen, including low and non-fat. Some quality change may be noted upon thawing. Stirring or shaking may help restore smoothness.

Sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk – All of the cultured, soured dairy products lose their smooth texture when frozen. They become grainy and sometimes separate out their water. They can still be used for cooking. Flavored yogurts may be more stable because of the fruit and sugar.

Eggs can be stored for at least one month, covered in the refrigerator. Freezing is often unnecessary.

Whole Eggs – Thoroughly mix yolks and whites – do not whip in air. To prevent graininess, add 1 tablespoon sugar or 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup whole eggs, depending on intended use. You can strain through a sieve or colander to improve uniformity. Freeze in a freezer zip lock, with some room for expansion in the freezer.

Another method of freezing whole egg mixture is to use ice cube trays. Measure 3 tablespoons of egg mixture into each compartment of an ice tray. Freeze until solid. Remove frozen cubes, and place in a freezer zip lock bag.. Three tablespoons of the egg mixture equals one whole egg.

Egg Yolks – Separate eggs. Stir gently. To prevent graininess, add 2 tablespoons sugar or 1 teaspoon salt per cup of egg yolks, depending on intended use. Strain through a sieve. Freeze in freezer bags, with room. One tablespoon of the yolk mixture equals one egg yolk.

Egg Whites – Gently mix whites. Strain through a sieve. Freeze in freezer bags, with room. Two tablespoons of the egg white mixture equals one egg white. 

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray