how to defrost creme fraiche

Can You Freeze Crème Fraiche And How to Defrost It?

Fancy and elegant, crème fraiche works best when consumed freshly made. However, it isn’t always possible to measure the amount you need precisely. If you buy or make an amount that surpasses your needs, you will have to do something to preserve it, as no one likes throwing something so delicious. Besides knowing how to freeze it, you should also know how to defrost crème fraiche. 

Freezing crème fraiche is possible. It is better to freeze it in smaller amounts, as you will have to refreeze it if you don’t use it all. Defrosting crème fraiche should be gradual, first in the fridge and then at room temperature. After defrosting, you should whip it to retain its texture.

As a huge crème fraiche lover, I have discovered a few tricks about freezing and defrosting it and keeping its quality and creaminess. In the paragraphs below, I will explain in detail how the freezing and defrosting process works so that you can make the most out of your crème fraiche, and which dishes do well in the freezer.

Can You Freeze Crème Fraiche?

You can store crème fraiche in the fridge for up to a week before it goes bad, so if you don’t use it up until then, you will have to either freeze it or throw it out. 

The good news is that you can absolutely freeze crème fraiche, but it isn’t as simple as putting it in the freezer and forgetting about it. Because crème fraiche is a high-fat dairy product with a creamy consistency, it is fragile to low or high temperatures. The freezing can and will destroy its texture if not correctly done. 

When freezing, all the water consisted in the crème fraiche solidifies, but that’s not the problem. The main concern is that the water separates from the whey, forming ice within the cream which significantly modifies the consistency, taste, and texture of the crème fraiche. This process will result in a runny and discolored crème fraiche with bland and watery flavor. 

The second thing is to keep its consistency and texture. To keep the flavor as much as possible, it is best to freeze the crème fraiche as soon as you are done using it; the longer you wait, the more it loses its flavor. The fresher the crème fraiche is before freezing, the more it keeps its flavor after defrosting. 

In no case will the crème fraiche be the same, but to get the best possible result, it is best to freeze it in small batches. The purpose is to decrease the amount of water that will separate from the whey and make the creme fraiche more user-friendly, as it is easier to defrost and use smaller amounts than separate small pieces from a large frozen block. 

Crème fraiche can sit in the freezer for up to four months, but it is essential to use a suitable container. Airtight containers work best if you want to keep your crème fraiche frozen for an extended period; however, you can also freeze it in an ice tray if you plan on using it sooner. The crucial thing is to freeze it in small batches. 

If you use an ice tray, you can remove the crème fraiche cubes when they are completely frozen and place them in a zip lock bag. This way, you can store them longer. 

Can You Freeze Crème Fraiche After Cooking?

If the crème fraiche has been previously cooked, its freezing will highly depend on what it has been cooked with. In general, you can freeze crème fraiche if used in thicker dishes with a stable consistency. The crème fraiche will make them a bit thin when you defrost them, but it won’t change much. 

On the other hand, you shouldn’t freeze crème fraiche in dishes that are creamy, such as sauces, as it will make them significantly thinner and lumpy. In this case, it is better to freeze the crème fraiche and the sauce separately and mix them after they defrost. 

Can You Defrost Crème Fraiche Quickly? 

Defrosting crème fraiche is a bit of a longer process. By no means should you change the temperature abruptly. The defrosting should be gentle and gradual, therefore quickly defrosting it would largely decrease, if not completely ruin, the taste and texture of the crème fraiche. 

After you take your crème fraiche out of the freezer, it is best to put it in the fridge. The temperature will still be low, but it will be high enough to trigger the defrosting process. Keep the crème fraiche in the fridge until it softens. 

The next step is to take it out of the freezer and let it defrost at room temperature. Once the defrosting process is complete, it is a good idea to whip the crème fraiche with a whisk or a mixer with moderate speed. The consistency should return to some degree, though it is unlikely to be the same as before freezing. 

Can You Refreeze Crème Fraiche?

Refreezing crème fraiche is not advisable. Since it is a high-fat dairy product, the water easily separates from the whey. Putting your crème fraiche through this process twice will make the damage irreversible. 

Refreezing crème fraiche will not just make it runny, but it will turn it into liquid, and the texture and taste will be long gone. Whisking it will return its consistency to some degree, but not its flavor. 

Therefore, freezing in smaller and ready-to-use batches is the right way to go when freezing crème fraiche.

Can You Reheat Crème Fraiche?

Dishes containing crème fraiche are not supposed to be reheated at high temperatures, as the crème fraiche will curdle and ruin the dish. When you reheat a creamy or a liquid dish containing crème fraiche, it can form tiny grains inside, which will separate and significantly decrease the quality of the dish. 

If you decide to reheat such dishes anyway, keep the temperature low to medium, and stir constantly. Just like the defrosting process, the reheating process should also be gradual. If you are reheating a pan sauce, it is advisable to put it in a bigger pan filled with hot water, heat it there until it softens and then transfer it to the stove. 

Generally, thicker dishes containing crème fraiche do better when reheated.

Microwave reheating is not recommendable, as direct exposure to high temperatures could ruin the consistency of the dish. 

Can You Freeze Soup With Crème Fraiche?

It isn’t recommended to freeze soup with crème fraiche or any other dairy cream, for that matter. When frozen with crème fraiche, chowders and soups form a grainy texture and tend to separate after they have been defrosted or reheated. 

Can You Freeze Quiche Made With Crème Fraiche?

Quiche is a savory dish that holds surprisingly well in the freezer. Oddly enough, the ingredients in quiche, such as eggs, cheese, and cream, do not do well when frozen separately, work perfectly when combined. Either before baking or after, it is perfectly ok to freeze quiche with crème fresh.

Can You Freeze Potatoes With Crème Fraiche?

Mashed potatoes have a very stable consistency, and the crème fraiche has already been integrated with them, so it’s absolutely OK to freeze them. Baked potatoes with cream fraiche also do well in the freezer, but avoid freezing fries, as they get mushy when defrosted unless partially fried. 

Can You Freeze Mushroom Sauce With Crème Fraiche?

Sauces don’t do well in the freezer, especially when made with any type of dairy cream. Therefore freezing mushroom sauce with crème fraiche isn’t a good idea, as it will become thin and will significantly lose its flavor. 

Can You Reheat Mushroom Sauce With Crème Fraiche?

When reheated, the mushrooms risk overcooking, and the sauce becomes lumpy. However, if you still decide to reheat it, the microwave is never an option. It is best to put the saucepan in a hot water pan until the sauce softens before transferring it to the stove on medium heat and stir constantly.

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