Freezing half&half or cream?

I'm cooking a favorite recipe of an expectant Mom friend of mine...artichoke pasta, shich I finish with a touch of half and half or cream at the very end. I am wondering, will it freeze well? I'd like to offer it to her fresh for the first eat, and then frozen for her to reheat at a later date. I'm new here, so thanks in advance!

  • Posted by: MQuad
  • March 23, 2011


ChefDaddy March 24, 2011
You CAN freeze cream. Just don't expect it whip! I've never seen it curdle but it does seperate a little and becomes a little watery in appearance. But, can be used as an ingredient.
RobertaJ March 24, 2011
Unfortunately, creams, sour creams, yogurts and half and half don't freeze too well. They tend to separate, and then curdle if you try to reheat them.

In your situation, what I'd do is make half the dish as usual, give it to your friend to eat fresh (GENTLE reheating only, because the curdling action will happen on the stovetop as well without freezing), and then take 1/2 of the recipe and freeze that. Tell her how to finish it when she thaws and reheats it, and if shopping's going to be an issue, even give her a container of the dairy component. It'll work much better that way.

Either way, she's going to be very appreciative of your thoughtfullness.
betteirene March 24, 2011
What a truly nice gift and a truly great friend you are for giving it! Sadly, emulsions such as cream, sour cream and milk do not thaw well, as they are often damaged by freezing, resulting in curdling or separating. But (and it's a big one because it's not an easy ingredient to find), heavy creams that contain more than 40% fat DO freeze well, so if you can find a cream that's that rich, you're in luck.

You could try freezing a very small portion first--it could be that your recipe contains an ingredient that prevents the cream from separating, but you'd probably do better if you froze the dinner before any cream is added. Include any finishing instructions on the freezer label. I wish I had friends like you when I was expecting--mine brought over cakes and pies, no dinners.

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