Double cream, a luxurious dairy product commonly enjoyed in Britain and Europe, is essential in various delicious dishes. With around 48% butterfat, it offers a perfect blend of richness between clotted cream and lighter American whipping cream.
However, despite its culinary appeal, double cream often gets spoiled because of not knowing how to freeze it.
So Can You Freeze Double Cream, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze double cream for 3 months or more. Store it in an airtight container or ice cube tray for up to three months. It’s suitable for cooking and baking but may not whip as well after thawing. Extend its life and reduce waste with freezing.
How To Freeze Double Cream?
Freezing double cream is a great way to extend its shelf life and prevent waste. Here are some tips for freezing double cream properly:
- Choose fresh, unopened double cream. Cream that is past its ‘use-by’ date will not freeze as well.
- Make sure the double cream carton is not damaged or leaking before freezing.
- Pour the double cream into airtight freezer bags or containers, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion. Avoid overfilling.
- Squeeze out excess air and seal the bags or containers tightly. The air causes a freezer burn.
- Label bags or containers with the type and date of freezing. This makes it easier to track shelf life.
- Place bags or containers in the freezer carefully so they remain upright. This prevents messes when defrosting.
- For best quality, use frozen double cream within 3 months. Frozen cream will last up to 6 months but may separate and become grainy.
- Once thawed, use double cream within 3-5 days, and do not refreeze. The texture will degrade with multiple freeze-thaw cycles.
How Long Can You Freeze Double Cream?
Properly stored in airtight containers, double cream can be frozen for 3 to 6 months before quality begins to decline.
The shelf life of frozen double cream depends on a few factors:
- Fat content – Higher fat cream, like double or whipping cream, freezes better than lower fat varieties. The fat acts as a protective barrier against freezer burn.
- Freezer temperature – Colder freezers around 0°F extend frozen cream’s shelf life versus higher temperatures.
- Packaging – Airtight freezer bags or containers prevent air exposure and freezer burn.
- Freezer burn – Cream with signs of ice crystals or discoloration will not last as long when frozen.
- Opening/resealing – Each time frozen cream is exposed to air, it shortens its safe storage. Minimize openings.
For best quality, use frozen double cream within 3 months. Discard if frozen longer than 6 months or if you notice changes in color or texture once thawed.
How Do You Defrost Double Cream?
Defrosting double cream properly ensures it retains its texture for whipping, cooking, and more. Here are some tips:
- Refrigerator: For a slow, gentle thaw, place frozen double cream in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours. Avoid defrosting at room temperature.
- Cold Water: Submerge the frozen carton or bag in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the cream is thawed and chilled. This may take 1-2 hours.
- Microwave: Defrost cream in 10-second bursts on low power, stirring between intervals. Take care not to curdle or overheat the cream.
- Blender/Mixer: For faster results, pour chilled frozen cream into a stand mixer or blender. Whip or blend on low speed until smooth.
- Bake/Cook: Frozen cream can be incorporated directly into hot recipes. The heat will defrost and blend the cream.
- Avoid boiling: Do not boil or simmer cream to defrost it, as this can cause curdling.
Always use thawed cream immediately and do not refreeze for food safety. Look for a smooth consistency with no separation or clumping when defrosted.
How To Tell If Double Cream Has Gone Bad?
Double cream has a shorter shelf life than other dairy products, so it’s important to know how to tell if it has gone bad. Here are some signs that double cream has spoiled and should be discarded:
- Sour smell and taste – Fresh cream has a mildly sweet, creamy smell and taste. Rancid or sour odors indicate spoilage.
- Lumpy texture – Bad cream will have a chunky, curdled consistency rather than a smooth, creamy one.
- Discoloration – The rich white color of fresh cream can become yellow or brown if old. Grayish hues are a sign of mold.
- Mold growth – Any fuzzy spots or film on the surface of the cream mean it has gone bad.
- Expired date – Double cream should be consumed within 7-10 days of opening. Discard if past the expiration date.
- Loose lids – If stored cream has leaking or loose lids, it can spoil faster. Air exposure causes quicker spoilage.
- Separation – Separation of milk solids and butterfat is normal, but excessive watery whey indicates spoilage.
Trust your senses – if double cream smells or looks odd, err on the side of caution and throw it out. When refrigerated properly, double cream stays fresh up to 10 days past its printed expiration date.
How To Store Double Cream?
Double cream has a high-fat content, so proper storage is important to extend its freshness. Here are some tips for storing double cream:
- Keep refrigerated at all times at 40°F or below. The cold temperature helps slow bacteria growth.
- Place in the back of the refrigerator, not on the door where the temperature fluctuates.
- Seal tightly in the original carton or an airtight container to prevent air exposure. Oxygen can accelerate spoilage.
- Use within 7-10 days of opening for best quality. Write the open date on the carton.
- Check expiration dates and use older cream first.
- Make sure cartons or containers are clean before filling them with cream.
- Once opened, transfer any unused cream to a clean-covered container rather than returning it to the original.
- Do not store at room temperature or freeze again after initial use.
- Keep the surface clean by scraping off any milk solids if the cream separates during storage.
Proper refrigeration and sealing in airtight containers can extend the shelf life of opened double cream up to 10 days past printed expiration dates.
How To Use Frozen Double Cream?
Frozen double cream can be used in place of fresh cream while retaining its properties for cooking, baking, and more. Here are some tips:
- Defrost overnight in the fridge or quickly in a bowl of cold water before use. Do not microwave frozen cream.
- Whip or blend thawed cream starting at low speed until smooth and lump-free before whipping to soft or stiff peaks.
- Substitute weight-for-weight in recipes that call for fluid creams like sauces, soups, mashed potatoes, or coffee drinks.
- For whipping, allow extra time to whip thawed cream to stiff peaks. Add sugar after whipping to allow the cream to thicken.
- Fold defrosted cream gently into cake, cookie, or pastry batters at the end to avoid overmixing.
- Combine with other ingredients when making ice cream, custard, or cream pies from a frozen state.
- Use immediately after fully thawed and do not refreeze. Discard any unused whipped cream.
- Expect a slightly thinner consistency and less whipped volume than fresh. Frozen cream performs well but has a shorter shelf life after thawing.
With proper handling, frozen double cream can be an economical alternative to fresh with minimal impacts on taste or usability. Handle with care to prevent curdling when defrosting and incorporating into recipes.
Q1. Is it OK to freeze double cream?
A1. It’s not recommended to freeze double cream or heavy cream. The high-fat content causes it to curdle and separate when thawed.
Q2. What is the best way to freeze cream?
A2. There is no good way to freeze heavy creams like double or whipping cream, unfortunately. The texture becomes grainy and watery when thawed.
Q3. Does double cream need to be whipped before freezing?
A3. Whipping double cream before freezing will not prevent curdling and separation. It’s still best to avoid freezing heavy creams altogether.
Q4. Can cream be frozen successfully?
A4. Heavy creams like double and whipping cream cannot be frozen successfully due to their fat content. Light creams like half and half can be frozen.
Q5. What is the best way to freeze double cream?
A5. There is no ideal way to freeze double cream without it separating when thawed. It’s better to store in the refrigerator and use within 5-7 days.
Q6. What’s the best way to defrost double cream?
A6. Frozen double cream cannot be salvaged once thawed – it will curdle and the texture will be irreversibly changed. Avoid freezing it