Can you freeze crème fraîche? Here’s all you need to know.
The French term crème fraîche (spelled krem-free) refers to a tart cream that is thick and is made from buttermilk and heavy cream. Yogurt or Sour cream can be used as a souring agent to make it. Despite its delicate texture, crème fraîche has a high-fat content, making it suitable for cooking without curdling.
Besides being ideal for fresh fruit toppings, this cream can also thicken sauces or serve as a garnish for soup. The cream is readily available, though you might consider making your own. But if you have too much crème fraîche, what is the best way to preserve the cream? Will you be able to freeze it for future use? Let’s find out.
Can you freeze crème fraîche?
Yes, crème fraîche can always be frozen. However, to keep the original consistency of the cream you might have to work at it a little. Any dairy product containing a high-fat content will separate and discolor after being frozen and defrosted. This is because the cream contains an equal amount of water.
The likelihood of ice forming in cream increases when it is exposed to a freezing temperature. As the ice melts, the cream separates or becomes runny. Don’t worry, you can restore the crème fraîche’s original texture after defrosting.
The shelf life of crème fraîche is 5 to 7 days when stored in the refrigerator. However, when it is stored in the freezer, it will keep for 2 to 4 months. To extend its shelf life, keep its freezer temperature at 0°F. Now, let us have a look at how can you freeze crème fraîche in the first place.
How to freeze crème fraîche?
For dairy cream to last longer, freeze the cream as soon as possible. Do not leave it on the counter for long or it may lose its freshness. We recommend storing crème fraîche in small reusable bags if you are using larger portions. Scoop the crème fraîche into the resealable bag, leaving about an inch of space for expansion of the cream as it freezes. Make sure you write the date of storage with a permanent marker on the labels and then place it in the freezer.
The cream will solidify much faster in an ice cube tray. Fill the cube tray with cream and pop it in the freezer. Give it at least two hours minimum to solidify. After the cream has solidified, remove the ice tray right away from the freezer, carefully remove each tube, and then place it one by one into an airtight container with the storage date written on it, and place it in the freezer.
How to defrost frozen crème fraîche?
The crème fraîche can be thawed in the fridge by moving it from the freezer right into the refrigerator and allowing it to thaw for a few hours until it is soft. As it thaws, you will notice the crème fraîche separating into individual components. In a small bowl, pour the cream and whisk it vigorously to get it back to its original consistency.
What are some amazing tips you can follow for freezing crème fraîche?
Now that you know how can you freeze crème fraîche, here are our three tips you should follow to ensure the best results.
- Whisk After Defrosting: Occasionally crème fraîche will separate during defrosting, affecting its texture. This can easily be fixed by vigorously whisking the crème fraîche until it is reincorporated with the fat.
- Freeze In Portions: In order to avoid defrosting too much at once, freeze crème fraîche in portion sizes.
- Label: The labels of multiple dairy products, such as sour cream and double cream, are critical for ensuring that they are all distinguishable from one another. It is near impossible to distinguish the two when they are frozen.
Does crème fraîche freeze well?
In general, crème fraîche freezes but it does not really freeze well. The more fat in the product, the more it will separate when frozen. Unfortunately, crème fraîche is very rich in fat, which adversely affects its texture.
During the freezing process, ice develops inside the cream itself. If the ice melts, the fat separates from the liquid, so when the cream is defrosted, the liquid has run and become grainy.
It is highly unlikely you will ruin your crème fraîche if you follow the freezing methods we have discussed above, so try them out.
If you have leftover crème fraîche, it is best to know that it freezes well! It is one of the most versatile dairy creams out there.