Q. I like to add a tablespoon or two of crème fraiche to my cream-based recipes when cooking. Since I like to eat healthy most of the time, I only use cream sauces maybe once or twice a month. As a result, I often end up throwing out the majority of a container of crème fraiche because I haven’t been able to use it all up in time. It feels like such a waste to throw out food, so I’ve been looking for a way to preserve my crème fraiche to make it last longer. I would like to freeze it and then I could just use what I need when I need it. I’m not sure if freezing crème fraiche would ruin it. Can you freeze crème fraiche?
A. Freezing dairy products is always a hot topic for discussion! It’s true that the higher the fat content in a dairy product the higher the likelihood of separation and discoloration, but the truth is that both of those issues can be overcome after thawing. So the answer to your question is yes, you can freeze crème fraiche. You will need to do a bit of work to get it back to its original texture after it has been thawed, but freezing crème fraiche will not ruin it. If you only use about a tablespoon or two at a time, then I suggest freezing it in small, single serving sizes.
First, make sure you’re using fresh product that hasn’t been sitting at room temperature for too long. Then, if you are only going to use small amounts at a time, spoon the crème fraiche into small freezer bags that only hold as much as you need for one serving. Seal the bags, and then label and date them. Then, place all the small bags into one large freezer bag or hard sided freezer safe container. Place it in the freezer where the temperature remains fairly constant. Then, add it to your favourite recipe. Store unused crème fraiche in the refrigerator for a day or two. Do not refreeze.
To use frozen crème fraiche, take out the desired amount from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Once completely thawed, you may notice that the water has separated. Simple pour the crème fraiche into a small bowl and then stir or whisk it vigorously until it has regained its original texture.