Sour cream is a dairy product that is used in many recipes. It is made by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria. Sour cream has a tart, acidic taste, and is often used as a condiment or topping. Sometimes it is hard to find sour cream when you need it, so freezing some might be helpful!
You can only refrigerate sour cream for up to 2 weeks. So, when you buy a large container of sour cream which you have to store for a longer period, freezing is the correct option. But frozen sour cream becomes separated and has a change of texture. It is better to use them only in cooking and baking and not for garnishing.
Consequences of Freezing Sour Cream
As with most things, there are pros and cons to freezing sour cream. One of the main downsides is that the texture of the sour cream will change slightly once it has been frozen and thawed.
This means that it might not be suitable to use as a topping on desserts or as a dipping sauce. However, it can still be used in cooking and baking, where the texture change will be less noticeable.
Another consequence of freezing sour cream is that it will separate slightly when thawed. This is because the fat in the sour cream will solidify when frozen. To avoid this, you can stir the thawed sour cream vigorously before using it.
Despite these drawbacks, freezing sour cream can be a great way to extend its shelf life. Sour cream can last for up to two months in the freezer, whereas it will only last for around a week in the fridge.
This means that you can buy sour cream in bulk and freeze it so that you always have some on hand.
How to Freeze Sour Cream Properly
The steps of freezing sour cream are as follows:
- Start by removing all the air from the container that you will be freezing the sour cream in. This can be done by using a straw to suck out the air, or by using a vacuum sealer.
- According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when you chill food in the freezer, keep it at 0° F (-18° C) for optimal quality and safety. Temperatures should be checked on a regular basis. They also recommend storing yogurt in the freezer for up to 2 months. So, it is better to freeze sour cream at 0° F and not more than 2 months.
- You can portion it out into small containers or bags before freezing, this will make thawing and using it much easier later on.
- You can also use silicone ice cube trays to freeze the sour cream which can be placed in a bag and pulled out as needed later.
- Place the container in the freezer.
Once you have followed these steps, your frozen sour cream will be good for up to two months. Sour cream can also be used in a number of different ways once it has been frozen.
Some of these include using it as an ingredient in baking, as a topping for desserts, or even as a condiment for savory dishes.
There are also a few things you should know before freezing sour cream:
- Sour cream is mostly made up of milk fat and water. When these two ingredients are combined and frozen, they can separate and create an unappetizing texture. To avoid this, add a stabilizer such as gelatin or cornstarch to the sour cream before freezing. This will help keep the mixture smooth once it is thawed.
- When freezing sour cream, be sure to use an airtight container. Sour cream can pick up other smells from your freezer, so it is best to keep it sealed tightly.
- Also, write the date on the container so you know how long it has been in the freezer. Sour cream can be frozen for up to six months.
LEARN MORE: Can I Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?
How to Thaw Sour Cream
If you’ve ever wondered how to thaw sour cream, the process is actually quite simple. All you need is a little time and patience. Sour cream can be thawed in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.
If you’re in a hurry, you can also thaw sour cream in the microwave on low power for 30-60 seconds.
Thawing Sour Cream in the Refrigerator
The easiest way to thaw sour cream is to let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator. This method is best if you plan to use the sour cream within a day or two.
Simply transfer the frozen sour cream to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. In the morning, give it a good stir before using.
Thawing Sour Cream on the Countertop
If you forgot to take your sour cream out of the fridge, or if you just need to thaw it quickly, set the container on the countertop. Though it is not recommended, you can leave it unopened until it reaches room temperature, which will take about an hour.
Sour cream thawed this way is safe to eat, but its texture and flavor may suffer.
You can also use warm water to speed up the process. Just place the container of sour cream in a bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes. Be sure to change the water every few minutes to keep it warm. Once your sour cream has thawed, give it a good stir before using.
Thawing Sour Cream in the Microwave
If you’re in a hurry, the quickest way to thaw frozen sour cream is by using the microwave.
Start by removing the lid or seal from the container. If there’s any ice build-up on top of the sour cream, remove it with a spoon.
Place the container of sour cream in the microwave and heat it on the defrost setting for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, remove the sour cream from the microwave and stir it.
Place the container back in the microwave and heat it on the defrost setting for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the sour cream is thawed. Once thawed, use it immediately.
LEARN MORE: Can You Freeze Angel Food Cake?
Uses of Frozen Sour Cream
There are a few different ways that you can use frozen sour cream. One way is to add it into smoothies or milkshakes. This will thicken them up and make them extra creamy. Another way to use frozen sour cream is in baking recipes.
It can be used in place of butter or oil and will give your baked goods a richer flavor.
Frozen Sour Cream in Milkshakes:
To use frozen sour cream in milkshakes, you will need to thaw it first. You can do this by placing the container of sour cream in the fridge for a few hours, or you can submerge it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
Once it has thawed, add it to your shake and blend as usual. You may need to add a little extra milk to thin it out, but frozen sour cream will make your shake nice and thick, and creamy.
Frozen Sour Cream in Baking:
When it comes to baking, frozen sour cream can be seen as an ingredient that is in a sense “in between.” Just like you can’t put a frozen pizza directly into the oven, you can’t use frozen sour cream without thawing it out first.
However, once you’ve thawed it out properly, it will act in the same way as fresh sour cream would.
Sour cream can add a lovely richness and depth of flavor to cakes, cookies, and other baked goods, so if you have some leftover sour cream that you need to use up, don’t hesitate to throw it in the freezer.
LEARN MORE: Can You Use Sour Cream Instead of Milk?
In conclusion, you can freeze sour cream, but there are some consequences. Sour cream will thicken and may separate when frozen. To avoid this, mix it before using it. Frozen sour cream is best used in cooked dishes or in baking.
When thawing, you can place it in the refrigerator overnight. It is better to not leave it out at room temperature to thaw. Sour cream can be frozen for up to two months. After that, it will start to deteriorate in quality.