Crème fraîche (pronounced as krem fresh) is a type of thick, tart cream made from heavy cream and buttermilk. The souring agent could be sour cream or yogurt. Although delicate, crème fraîche has higher fat content so it can be used in cooking without curdling.
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This cream is also ideal for topping for fresh fruits, thickening ingredients for sauces, or garnish in soups. Crème fraîche is widely available although you can always make your own. And if say, you have excess crème fraîche, how do you preserve the cream? Can you freeze crème fraîche for future uses?
The short answer is yes, you can always freeze crème fraîche but it will take work to get the cream to maintain its original consistency. Any type of dairy product with high-fat content tends to separate and discolor once it’s been frozen and defrosted. The water in the cream is evenly distributed within the solution. Exposure to freezing temperature increases the chances of ice forming within the cream. And when this happens, the cream will separate or turn runny once the ice within it melts.
But don’t fret, there is a way to restore the original consistency of crème fraîche after defrosting. When kept in the fridge, crème fraîche will keep for 5 to 7 days. But when kept in the freezer, the cream will last for 2 to 4 months. Keep the freezer temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit to extend its shelf life. Now let’s take a look how can you freeze crème fraîche:
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It’s critical to freeze any type of dairy cream as soon as possible to retain its freshness for longer. Do not leave the cream to sit too long on the counter; this will shorten its shelf life. If you use larger portions of crème fraîche, we suggest using small resealable bags to store the cream. With a large spoon, scoop the cream into the resealable plastic bag. Give the cream about an inch of extra space so it can expand as it freezes then seal. With a permanent marker, write the storage date and stick in the freezer.
If you’d like to divide the cream into individual portions, you need to use an ice cube tray to divide the cream. Just pour the cream into the ice cube tray and pop in the freezer. Give the cream two hours or more to solidify. Once the cream is frozen solid, take the ice tray from the freezer, carefully pop each cubed cream and then place them one by one in an airtight container. Write the storage date using a marker then stick in the freezer.
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Thawing crème fraîche is easy; just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Allow the cream to thaw for several hours or until it softens. As the crème fraîche thaws, you’ll notice that the ingredients are separating, this is normal. Restore the original consistency of the cream by pouring it into a small bowl and whisking it vigorously until smooth and creamy.
No doubt about it, crème fraîche is one of the most versatile types of dairy cream there are! And if you have leftovers, it’s great to know that the cream freezes so well! Now that you know how can you freeze crème fraîche, you can safely buy this cream in bulk without fear of spoilage!