Q.: I purchased too much heavy whipping cream and half-and-half. Can I freeze them?
— R.K., Hudson
A.: It’s not a good idea to freeze either.
Heavy cream, once frozen and thawed, will no longer be able to be turned into whipped cream due to its protein structure having changed. It is possible to freeze it and later use it in sauces, but even then, you will have to really shake it vigorously as cream tends to separate after being frozen. This works best with heavy cream that is 40 percent butterfat or higher, and most heavy cream sold for retail (not restaurant) use is 36 percent butterfat.
It is possible to whip and sweeten the cream first and then freeze it. However, this results in varying degrees of success, so don’t be surprised if it turns back to liquid once thawed.
For half-and-half, the results will be even worse. The cream and milk will separate when thawed, resulting in a watery liquid with flecks or clumps that won’t be appetizing in your coffee and can have a grainy mouthfeel.
While some folks have success freezing milk, it is generally not recommended for any dairy product beyond nonfat milk.
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