Do you have some cream cheese leftover or maybe you've gone and bought too much? I know, you are thinking about putting it in the freezer. Well, freezing is indeed one way of storing food safely, but can you freeze cream cheese?
Obviously, the answer is "YES", you can freeze cream cheese! But have you thought about what happens right after it's frozen?
I decided to freeze some last night because I was curious about what effect it would have on the cream cheese afterward. Here is what came out of the freezer!
What Does Cream Cheese Look Like After Freezing?
After the cream cheese had thawed, I carefully took off the wrapper to look at it. I found out that the previously soft and smooth texture had become crumbly and grainy.
I guess this is because the water content had turned into ice crystals during freezing. So, right after I'd thawed it, the cream cheese melted and separated from the cheese curd, which led to the grainy and crumbled texture. So, my cream cheese was no longer creamy!
I am not saying it could not be eaten anymore but its new consistency looked unappetizing. Although you can still use thawed cream cheese, the grainy appearance stands out and no longer looks inviting.
What Is The Best Way To Freeze Cream Cheese?
Make sure that it is already securely wrapped in a cardboard box and sealed with thick foil inside. I do not think that you need to add additional wrapping to protect it against freezer burn.
You can immediately put the cream cheese in the freezer and then use it as planned. Put your cream cheese on the middle shelf of the freezer and it will keep at an even temperature. Do not forget to put a label on the wrapper that states when it was put in the freezer.
If you are planning to consume your cream cheese as either an icing or a dip, blend it with whipping or heavy cream before you freeze it. This will help to keep the cheese creamy.
Even though you can freeze cream cheese for up to six months, it is best to use it as early as possible for the best results. In fact, it is recommended that you use the cream cheese within two months of freezing.
I do not advise freezing old cream cheese, as it could be a health risk. It is better to throw it away than waste space and risk food poisoning.
How To Defrost Cream Cheese?
It is best to thaw cream cheese in the refrigerator for 12- 24 hours. Do not let it melt at room temperature. If you want to use a quicker way, try the microwave, which is fine, but remember that some parts might have been cooked in the process, while others parts will still be defrosting. Microwave heating could be suitable, however, if you plan to use the cheese afterward for a casserole or an appetizer.
What Is The Best Use For Frozen Cream Cheese?
I suggest that, after freezing cream cheese, you use it for baking or cooking. You need to choose recipes that do not need a smooth texture, like cheesecakes. Cakes and cookies might also turn out fine.
Other Tips For Frozen Cream Cheese
- Put it in a mixer after thawing it or whip it manually for a few minutes. Doing this won't restore its original smooth texture, but it will make the cream cheese more spreadable. However, this might not work out the same with other brands.
- Use the microwave to warm it up for a few seconds and stir the cheese until it's smooth. You will see that it's almost the same consistency when it cools down, as it is when it's fresh.
Cream cheese is great for many recipes, including dips, cakes, casseroles, pies, spreads, baked dishes, snacks, and desserts. It is not popular for its nutritional value, but it tastes lovely.
Freezing is a practical way to store your leftovers or extra stocks, and it will help you to save a lot of money. So, if you plan to make cakes and cookies next week, go ahead and freeze your extra cream cheese!
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