Month: August 2017

Dessert

Can You Freeze Crème Brûlée?

Crème brûlée is a French dessert with a rich, milky custard base and a sweet, crunchy caramel on top. This dessert may look fancy but it’s surprisingly easy to make from scratch! But what if you made a too-large batch of this dessert? Can you freeze crème brûlée? Despite its delicate texture, crème brûlée is a cinch to freeze. It also keeps so well in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

Because crème brûlée is made with dairy ingredients, it has a short shelf life. When kept in the fridge, crème brûlée will only stay fresh for 2 to 4 days. But when kept in the freezer, its shelf life is extended to 6 months or so. The key to maintaining the integrity of this dessert is the temperature. Crème brûlée should be kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit to extend its shelf life. The steady temperature minimizes the risk of texture or flavor changes too.

Now the problem with freezing crème brûlée is its tendency to “weep” once it’s been defrosted. Weeping is a term used in cooking to describe liquid oozing out of a defrosted food. There are many reasons why crème brûlée generates a clear liquid after it’s been defrosted. Certain ingredients – such as thickeners or food starch – may cause the dessert to weep. Coagulating proteins could be the cause of weeping too.  Simple moisture migration or condensation may also cause weeping.

The good news is, you can reduce the likelihood of weeping by baking the dessert prior to freezing. Also, do not overcook or undercook the base to inhibit weeping. The base has to set properly otherwise, ice crystals will form within the custard. The water crystals will alter the consistency of the base and cause weeping once they melt. Let’s move on to the step by step guide on how can you freeze crème brûlée:

Image used under Creative Commons from jules

How to Freeze Crème Brûlée?

Crème brûlée has the tendency to separate when it is not prepared well prior to freezing. If you’re making this dessert from scratch, it’s best to freeze the custard as soon as possible. We don’t recommend freezing a fully assembled crème brûlée, caramel crust and all. The base should be frozen as is in individual containers. The base must be set properly too. It shouldn’t be too firm nor too soft prior to freezing or the consistency won’t be the same once the custard has been defrosted.

Just pour the base into a large ramekin, bake it, and then wait for it to cool down completely. Once the base cools down, cover the ramekin with tin foil or cling wrap. Secure the wrapping with tape or rubber bands so it doesn’t move once left in the freezer. Place the ramekin in a resealable plastic container, squeezing as much air as you can prior to sealing. Write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

For leftover crème brûlée, there’s no need to transfer the dessert to a separate container. The instructions above apply for leftovers served in ramekins. For prepared crème brûlée bought from the supermarket, there’s no need to prep the product unless the dessert is packed in glass containers. Glass will shatter in freezing temps so you have no choice but to transfer the dessert to a freezer-friendly container.

Image used under Creative Commons from katrina.alana

How to Defrost Frozen Crème Brûlée?

Thawing crème brûlée is easy; just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the dessert to thaw for several hours. Once the custard softens, sprinkle the top with sugar then torch it to form the caramel crust. For leftover crème brûlée, just leave the dessert to thaw in the fridge, this dessert does not require reheating at all.

Summary

For a dessert this delicate, it’s quite surprising that crème brûlée freezes so well. Now that you know how can you freeze crème brûlée, you can buy your favorite dessert in bulk and store some in the freezer for future snacking!  

Meat

Can You Freeze Liver?

Rich in essential nutrients including protein, iron, and zinc, raw liver is an inexpensive meat that can be utilized in a variety of ways. You can use beef, chicken, or duck liver to make pâté, stews, and sauces. Can you freeze liver? Since raw liver can be used in many ways, you can always buy it in bulk for future uses. The quick answer is yes, you can freeze liver for later storage.

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Ganz

Image used under Creative Commons from Father.Jack
Different animal livers have their own distinct flavors but they can be stored the same way. Depending on the storage conditions, beef liver will keep fresh in the fridge about 2 to 3 days beyond its expiration date. On the other hand, beef liver will keep up to 4 months in the freezer. But this goes only if the temperature is kept at a steady 0°Fahrenheit.

Lamb and chicken liver will keep fresh up to 2 months in the freezer. Chicken liver doesn’t keep well in the freezer because the delicate meat has the tendency to break down during defrosting but it can be stored in the freezer too.

Never defrost frozen liver several times or leave raw liver sitting at room temperature for a long time. Bacterial growth sets in at around 40 ° and 140 °Fahrenheit. For beef liver, discard the meat if it’s been sitting for more than 2 hours at room temperature. How to know if the liver has gone bad? If the liver has taken on a dull appearance, slimy texture and a sour odor, discard it. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze liver:

Image used under Creative Commons from Beck

How to Freeze Liver?

If you’re freezing an unopened pack of liver, there’s no need to open the package to prep the meat. Our advice is to simply insert the product in a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag, seal it, and then stick the whole thing in the freezer.

For raw liver, you have to clean the liver first prior to freezing. Wash the liver thoroughly, removing bits of fat, etc. Since raw liver has a strong odor, you need to rub your hands with salt after cleaning the meat. Once the liver is clean, you could either slice the meat first prior to freezing or freeze the whole thing.

Start by patting the liver dry after washing thoroughly. Then, wrap the meat in aluminum foil. This will help protect the liver from freezer burns. After wrapping the meat in aluminum foil, place the meat in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as you can then seal. Get a marker, write the storage date, and then stick in the freezer.

Now, if you’re freezing cooked liver, wait until the liver has cooled completely before freezing. Pack the meat in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Do not stuff the meat too much, give the meat enough room in the container. Cover the container with the airtight lid then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Mary

How to Defrost Frozen Liver?

To defrost frozen liver, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the liver to thaw slowly overnight for best results. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can defrost frozen liver by immersing the bag in a bowl of tap water. Replace the water several times until the liver thaws. We don’t recommend thawing the frozen liver in the microwave because this will ruin the texture of the meat. Never leave raw liver to thaw at room temperature because this increases the risk of bacterial growth.

Summary

Not all people are crazy about liver but it’s a tasty ingredient that adds a different dimension to meat dishes. Now that you know how can you freeze liver, you can buy this meat in bulk and keep the meat in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.