Cream cheese is a great bagel spread, but what happens when you run out of bagels and now have a quickly ripening batch of cream cheese just sitting in the fridge? You can take things a step further and keep it in the freezer in the hopes of preserving it. Is this possible?
There are of course several factors to consider before freezing cream cheese knowing that this particular dairy product goes bad quickly.
In short, cream cheese can be stored in the freezer to be able to keep it fresh for a longer amount of time. It can no longer be used as a spread after thawing due to its new texture. But it can still be used for different cooking recipes that still call for cream cheese.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese?
The general shelf life of cream cheese is around a couple of weeks, which will be extended to almost 5 months if you attempt to preserve it.
As with all the other types of cheese, cream cheese will also turn crumbly after keeping it in the freezer.
The fats in the cheese end up separating from the liquid which is what creates the partly liquid, partly solid mixture.
Cream cheese is usually used as a spread due to its creamy consistency, but after freezing, this may no longer be possible because of its new texture.
If you’re planning on using it for a dip however, there is a way around the strange texture. Mix the cheese with whole cream before freezing.
It is not recommended that you freeze non or low fat cream cheese. Stick to preserving whole fat cheese instead. The clumps that form in the low fat cheese are nearly impossible to dissolve.
How to Freeze Cream Cheese
Texture is an important quality of cream cheese, and losing this spread-like quality after thawing is sure to be troublesome. There are several ways to get around the change in consistency of the cheese to be able to still use it for cooking and baking. It is all a matter of how you freeze it.
- Make sure that the cream cheese is not already too close to the expiration date. Freezing it will lengthen its lifespan while frozen, but will go back once thawed.
- Keep the cream cheese in its original packaging and wrap the container in plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer.
- When thawing, keep the container in the refrigerator for no more than a day.
- To enhance its texture, microwave at 20 second intervals while mixing and whisking in between.
- Aside from whole cream, whipping cream can also be mixed with cream cheese prior to putting it in the freezer.
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