Tag: dessert

Dessert

Can You Freeze Rice Pudding?

Rice pudding is a satisfying and healthy dish made using milk and white rice. Enjoyed as a dessert or as a side dish, rice pudding is the perfect snack for kids and kids at heart alike! But how long will rice pudding keep? Can you freeze rice pudding?

Milk and rice are quite sensitive to temperature changes so flavor and texture changes are likely when you freeze the pudding. Still, rice pudding keeps surprisingly well in the freezer so no need to worry if you made a large batch. However, if you’d like to maximize the shelf life of the pudding prior to freezing, we’ll be sharing a couple of storage tips later in this post!

Easy Homemade Rice Pudding

Using the freshest ingredients is key to prolonging the shelf life of rice pudding. Here is a simple rice pudding recipe to get you started.

You will need:

1-quart whole milk
1 cup short-grain or long-grain white rice
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more as needed
A pinch salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
Chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruits, nutmeg or cinnamon and other toppings

Instruction

Heat a medium saucepan then pour the milk, rice, and sugar. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat then season with salt. Stir the mixture well until the sugar has dissolved completely.

After bringing the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to a bare simmer. Leave the saucepan uncovered as you simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the white rice is nice and tender.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla or almond extract then add more sugar or salt when needed. Place a ladleful or two in a bowl, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Image used under Creative Commons from Brad Greenlee

How to Freeze Rice Pudding?

Now to prep the rice pudding for freezing, wait until the dish has cooled completely to room temperature. Once the rice pudding has cooled completely, pour the dish into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. Leave about two inches of space so the pudding has room to expand while it freezes. Cover the container with cling wrap before sealing with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you are pressed for time, you can accelerate the cooling process by giving the sealed container an ice bath. Just pour the still-warm rice pudding into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid then cover with cling wrap. Close the airtight lid then submerge the container in ice water. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before storing in the freezer. Never re-freeze the thawed rice pudding.

Freezing Tips

Milk Substitutes

Traditionally, rice pudding is made using whole milk. Since whole milk has a short shelf life, freezing the dish for long-term may affect its flavor and texture. To minimize the flavor or texture changes, consider using other milk substitutes such as evaporated milk, coconut milk, or sweetened condensed milk. These milk substitutes may alter the cooking times of the dish so make the necessary adjustments in the recipe.

Type of White Rice

The texture of the rice pudding will also depend on the type of white rice you used for the dish. Short grain white rice yields a more watery consistency while long grain rice makes for a denser, slightly drier pudding.

Exclude the Toppings

If you have leftover rice pudding, do not add the toppings as you prep the dish for freezing because these ingredients will turn bad much more quickly than the rice pudding. Just freeze the toppings in a different container and when you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the thawed toppings over the defrosted rice pudding.

Exclude the Milk

Since milk goes bad quickly, it is possible to prepare the pudding without it to extend its shelf life. Just prepare the rice pudding as you normally would but replace the milk with plain water. Prep the cooled rice pudding for freezing. Once you are ready to serve, reheat the rice pudding on the stove, gradually stirring in the milk until smooth and thick.

Divide into Serving Portions

Want to make thawing frozen rice pudding less of a hassle? Try dividing the leftover rice pudding into serving portions so you don’t have to defrost an entire tub of the dish. Remember, you cannot re-freeze the thawed rice pudding!

Prepare several packets of resealable plastic bags. Pour the cooled rice pudding into each of the resealable plastic bags, making sure to leave a couple of inches of space to let the pudding expand as it freezes. Seal then write the storage date. Store flat in the freezer.

Whenever you are craving for a soothing bowl of rice pudding, take a couple of bags of frozen rice pudding then thaw before reheating!

Image used under Creative Commons from Bex Walton

Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Frozen homemade rice pudding will keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. However, we don’t recommend waiting this long before consuming your supply. You have to finish the rice pudding as soon as possible for optimal flavor and texture.

To thaw the rice pudding, just transfer the frozen dish to the fridge. Leave the frozen rice pudding to thaw overnight. Once the rice pudding has thawed completely, it’s ready for reheating unless you enjoy the pudding cold. Never defrost the rice pudding at room temperature. The pudding will go bad much more quickly if thawed this way.

To reheat the pudding, just simmer the dish over low heat in a saucepan. Pour the dish into a bowl, add a handful of toppings and enjoy! You can also reheat the rice pudding in the microwave. Just make sure to place a cup of water before reheating the pudding so it won’t dry up.

Summary

Who knew freezing rice pudding is this easy? Keep our freezing tips in mind if you want to extend the shelf life of the pudding and minimize texture or flavor changes!

Dessert

Can You Freeze Pecan Pie?

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed with foods that take us back to simpler times, such as good ol’ pecan pie! Whether homemade or store-bought, nothing beats a good slice of pecan pie! But what if you have leftovers? Can you freeze pecan pie?

Why Should You Freeze Pecan Pie?

Pecan pie can be frozen although it will be tricky to do so. For one thing, the pie has an egg-based filling, which is sensitive to freezing temperature. Freezing is not the best storage method for pecan pie but it is better than letting the pie sit at room temperature for hours on end.

Pecan pie makes a wonderful make-ahead dessert. Making the pie ahead of time and freezing it for later will save you more time. This works great if you’re pressed for time hosting a party or an intimate get-together. With servings of pecan pie in the freezer, you can make yourself a delicious snack, any time of the day.

Image used under Creative Commons from Stuart Mudie

How to Freeze Pecan Pie?

How you prep the pie for freezing will depend on several factors such as the state of the baked goods prior to freezing. Here are ways to freeze pecan pie:

Homemade Pecan Pie

Homemade pecan pie does not contain artificial preservatives so its shelf life is shorter than store-bought pies. When freezing homemade pecan pie, or any pie for that matter, you should always prep the crust the right way. If not, the crust could turn soggy once the pie has been defrosted and reheated!

Prepare the pie as you normally would. After baking, leave the pie to cool completely on a cooling rack before prepping for freezing. Wrap the pie tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Make sure the pie is covered completely to prevent freezer burns. Write the storage date on the label then stick the pie in the freezer.

Store-Bought Pecan Pie

Generally, store-bought pecan pie has a longer shelf life compared to its homemade counterparts so you can chill the pie in the fridge. But if you want to store the pie in the freezer, you have to wrap the product tightly using aluminum foil. Then, place the wrapped pie in a resealable plastic bag to protect it from freezer burns. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Tips and Tricks

Freeze the pie immediately after cooling

If you made more pies than you can handle and you know that you will store some of it in the freezer, do not leave the pies sitting at room temperature for too long. Egg-based fillings tend to go bad much more quickly at room temperature. The chances of bacterial growth and contamination are high if you leave the pies unattended for hours. Our advice is to prepare the pies for freezing the second they cooled down completely after baking.

Exclude the toppings

A slice of pecan pie isn’t complete without a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. If you’re freezing the pie, exclude these topping. Dairy products do not freeze well. In addition, ice cream and whipped cream could cause soggy crust after defrosting. Add the vanilla ice cream or whipped cream only when you’re ready to serve.

Opt for premade filling

This tip involves making and baking the crust in advance, then freezing it first. Then, create the filling a day before serving the pie and leave it to chill in the fridge. Thaw the pie crust completely, pour the pre-made filling and bake. It takes more effort to freezing pecan pie this way but here us out: if you really want to retain the quality of the pie after thawing, this is the best option.

Image used under Creative Commons from Pete Markham

What Happens When You Freeze Pecan Pie?

This depends on how you prepped the pie prior to freezing. Assuming that you prepped the pie properly, reheating won’t cause the crust to turn soggy. The filling won’t take on an odd texture or flavor.

On the other hand, if the crust is still moist after baking or the filling seeped through the crust prior to freezing, there is a good chance that the crust will become soggy after thawing. This cannot be corrected.

Once the pie has been frozen and thawed, you cannot refreeze the product. Refreezing and defrosting the pie a second time will cause the ingredients to degrade. There will be noticeable changes in the texture and flavor too.

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

Frozen pecan pie will keep for two months or more in the freezer. However, we don’t recommend waiting this long before consuming the pie to minimize any flavor or texture changes. To thaw frozen pecan pie, just transfer the pie to the fridge. Leave the pie to thaw completely before reheating.

How to Tell if Pecan Pie has Gone Bad?

At a glance, you can tell if the pie is no longer safe to eat. If it looks off or overly mushy, it may have gone bad. Check for any off-smelling aroma or the appearance of mold. If it starts smelling funky or you’re seeing the presence of mold, discard the pie.

Summary

Pecan pie makes a delightful finish to any meal. But can you freeze pecan pie? As long as you followed the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, there is no reason why you shouldn’t store the pie in the freezer.

Dessert

Can You Freeze Pudding?

Often when making recipes that include pudding, you end up with quite a bit of extra. There’s only so much pudding that can go between the layers of a cake, or in a pie crust! Can you freeze pudding? The good news is, that delicious creamy pudding doesn’t have to go to waste – you can always freeze it for later use, with surprisingly good results.

Pudding actually freezes pretty well, in fact, a good way to use up milk that’s on its way out is making and freezing pudding! Pudding’s versatility is convenient if you want to make pudding pies, or other pudding-filled desserts, in advance of an event.

Additionally, having a frozen dessert ready in the freezer could be handy in case of an unexpected invite. Just be aware of the other ingredients in your frozen dessert. While the pudding component will freeze well, any cookies might become soggy, and fruit has a tendency to seep moisture when frozen.

Consider adding toppings after the dessert is removed from the freezer. When freezing a pudding or custard pie, it’s also best to use a pie crust recipe that is high in fat, and low in liquids, like a crushed cookie crust, or a shortbread. This will help the pie crust retain its texture while thawing.

can you freeze pudding

Image used under Creative Commons from Yoshihide Nomura

How to Freeze Pudding?

Pudding can be frozen in a few different ways. In addition to making and freezing a dessert with a pudding layer or filling, you could also just freeze containers of plain pudding on their own for later use. Below is the step by step guide on how to freeze pudding:

Freezing Storebought Pudding

When pudding freezes, the consistency becomes like that of a rich and creamy ice cream. This holds true for store bought mixes, homemade puddings, rice pudding and even tapioca pudding.

Because of this, frozen pudding can make a delicious frozen treat on its own – just freeze for a few hours in a storage container, and grab a spoon! Unlike storing pudding in the refrigerator, a skin will not form on the top of frozen pudding, and so you do not need to worry about covering the pudding with plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer.

Freezing Pudding in Popsicle Molds

Another great way to freeze pudding is by making popsicles. Simply distribute pudding in popsicle molds or even little plastic cups, insert sticks, and freeze. These are great to have as a quick snack for kids or an easy way to cool down in warmer months, as they are so easy to make!

Frozen pudding may be stored for 4-6 weeks, though frozen desserts made with pudding should be frozen for no more than a month. Be sure to tightly seal any containers, and with desserts, be sure to cover them completely, leaving no parts exposed to the air.

How to Defrost Frozen Pudding?

Thawing frozen pudding is actually quite simple. If you just want to eat the thawed pudding as a snack or use the thawed pudding in a recipe, you can put the container in the fridge overnight, and the pudding will thaw nicely. You could also thaw the pudding at room temperature for a few hours, though this is not recommended for a pre-made dessert.

When thawing a pre-made pudding dessert, like a pie, it’s best to let it thaw in the refrigerator. Thawing a dessert at room temperature will expose the dessert to too much moisture that can be absorbed by the pie crust. With a pudding-filled cake, this is of less concern, if you’re really pressed for time.

If you are worried about how the pudding texture will hold up, you could test freeze a small amount and let that thaw in the fridge before freezing. Each batch of the pudding will be different, based on the factors previously mentioned, so it’s recommended that a test batch is frozen each time. While one batch of pudding might not thaw well, it could still be used as a frozen dessert!

Summary 

It’s important to note that the texture of the pudding could change a bit in the freezer, depending on the brand, moisture content and whether or not the custard was overheated before it was frozen.

That said, freezing pudding is a great way to extend your supply of this yummy dessert. Now that you know how can you freeze pudding, there is no need to worry about wastage at all.

Dessert

Can You Freeze Chocolate?

You may have some chocolate in your pantry or a candy dish, but how about the freezer? Can you freeze chocolate? The short answer is yes, chocolate can be frozen and it keeps so well in the freezer too!

Now before we outline the steps on how can you freeze chocolate, let’s discuss reasons why you should freeze chocolates in the first place.

Chocolate can melt in your hands in the fairest of weather. If you live somewhere hot, it will melt at a much faster rate. It may even melt while still in its package. Freezing your chocolate will ensure there will not be a melted mess when you open up your favorite chocolate bar. It will also make eating it less messy.

Bar of chocolate

Image used under Creative Commons from Siona Karen

Do note that some brands of chocolate are better than others. There are gourmet and specialty brands that some people eat during special occasions, like a birthday or an anniversary. You may have bought some fancy chocolate well ahead of time and may be worried about its shelf life. Freezing it will ensure that it will be ready when that special moment comes.

How to Freeze Chocolate?

Freezing Unopened Chocolates

A lot of chocolate bars and other chocolate products are well packaged. Depending on the chocolate product, you may have no issues with freezing it as is. This is very convenient if you buy a chocolate bar with the intent of saving it for later.

If say, you still want to freeze unopened packs of chocolates anyway, there is no need to prep the product prior to freezing. Just place the bars of chocolates in the freezer and you’re done. The original packaging is enough to protect the chocolate from freezer burns.

Freezing Leftover Chocolates

Chocolate does have a lengthy shelf life, but it does not last forever. Freezing most chocolate goods will extend their shelf life by many months. It is important that it is stored properly, and there is no finer way to do that than with aluminum foil.

Foil insulates the product, which keeps it fresh and protects it from freezer burn. There are other products you can use to wrap your frozen chocolate in, but aluminum foil is recommended.

Just wrap your leftover chocolates in aluminum or tinfoil, making sure the whole product is wrapped completely. Place the chocolate in a resealable plastic bag. Write the storage date with a marker then stick the bag in the freezer.

Adding the label is important when freezing any type of food. If you do not have your chocolate in its original packaging, clearly labeling and dating the chocolate is a smart thing to do. This way you can easily identify what it is and how long it has been in your freezer.
Pieces of chocolate

Image used under Creative Commons from Lee McCoy

How to Defrost Frozen Chocolate?

You are somewhat limited on how you can defrost your chocolate. You can easily melt chocolate, so using an oven or microwave is not the best way to do it (unless you use either one for a brief period of time).

The best method is to leave it on any room temperature surface, and give it some time. If it is summer time, or you live in a warmer climate (which is a good reason to freeze chocolate), you should not leave the chocolate out for long periods of time. Otherwise, it may melt in the heat. If you have the time and patience, leaving it in your refrigerator will help it thaw over time as well without the fear of it melting.

Summary

As you can see, freezing and thawing chocolate are easy. In fact, unopened packs of chocolates require no further prep prior to freezing. Now that you know how can you freeze chocolates, you can extend the shelf life of your favorite sweet treats with zero wastage!