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Nov 11, 2012 09:36 AM

Freezing foods with cream content?

Hi All,
So, I know that freezing cream directly is a no-no....
But I was wondering what my chances of success are in freezing foods that have some cream content. Foods that I would like to freeze include:
Hungarian paprikás with 20% sour cream in the sauce
Caramel dip(for apples) made with 20%-30% cream
North Indian "gravies" with 30% cream ie for shahi paneer, malai kofta
Cream of broccoli soup
Chocolate sauce with 30% whipping cream in it
I realize that in some cases I can prepare a food without the cream/sourcream, and whisk it in upon reheating when I want to serve it.
But in some cases that wouldn't work.
Any insights/experience in this matter?
Just don't want to waste/ruin a bunch of perfectly good food.

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  1. I can't answer all those but IME anything liquid based dishes that have sour cream do not freeze well. The sour cream separates and ends up looking curdled so something like paprikash I wouldn't freeze or freeze without it.

    I have frozen caramel and chocolate sauces with success, just defrost slowly

    No idea about the north india gravies.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      Hi, thanks a lot for your reply; Good to know about the sour cream sauces.
      If, by chance, you recall, have the chocolate and caramel sauces you've frozen been prepared with cream?(I know some recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, or evaporated milk, instead)
      I was thinking recently: ice cream certainly has cream content, and does admirably well with being frozen, so frozen cream can't be an absolute "thou shalt not" of the kitchen...if you know what you're doing, and in which contexts it works, I guess.
      Well, thanks again! Can't believe no one else has responded...I really thought chowhounds would be able to help me out more on this one.

      1. re: Gracemama

        Yes, botth my caramel and chocolates sauces were made with cream. I have also made icecream with the caramel (swirled, yum!) with no texture issues.

        Here are a couple of good websites with freezing tips/tricks that might help you further.

        1. re: foodieX2

          Great! I will try freezing caramel and chocolate sauces! Homemade caramel-swirl ice cream sounds amazing...
          Thanks for the helpful links!

    2. I freeze cream directly. I know it won't whip and can take on a weird, separated look but can be defrosted fine to add to sauces, soups etc. It's not preferable to fresh cream obviously but sometimes it just has to do!

      1 Reply
      1. re: pj26

        If it does take on a weird seperated look, does that remain after defrosting and adding to sauces? Or does it go away upon defrosting.
        I've never tried freezing cream directly myself, only heard it's not a good idea. But sometimes, it would really be handy-ie when I open a large package to make a recipe that only calls for a bit... It does keep well in the fridge for quite some time, but then if I don't get around to using it all up, I hate to toss out pricey, yummy cream!

      2. What do you all think about freezing this recipe?

        I make this for T-day every year but usually make it the day before, bake, stick in fridge and then reheat the day off with the great results

        However this year I am working M/T/W so would like to make it this weekend. Do you think it will freeze well and if so do I bake first or after freezing?

        3 Replies
        1. re: foodieX2

          Do you have a link for the recipe?

            1. re: foodieX2

              Mmm- looks delish. I can't think of any reason it wouldn't freeze well; lasagna is famous for being freezable, and I myself have done it (post cooking) with no issues.
              But I know there is some debate on whether to freeze assembled but uncooked, or to freeze fully baked. If you do try the cook-first method, I think the trick is to let it cool before freezing, and let it defrost (ie in the fridge overnight) before reheating...
              Good luck! Let us know what you end up trying and how it goes if you have time!