Puddings are a delicious treat at the end of a meal, but it's always a challenge to make the right amount. Often there are leftovers, and deciding what to do with this pudding can be a challenge.
Left in the fridge for more than a day or two, and they usually have to be discarded. This excess leads to a commonly asked question: can you freeze pudding? We got busy in the kitchen and made a stack load of different desserts to see which were okay once defrosted and the ones that weren't. Keep reading to find out the results.
To avoid any confusion, it is worth pointing out that there are two types of pudding. One is a sweet dessert that can be cooked or chilled, which is eaten after the main course. The other is a savory dish popular in the U.K. - one example is Yorkshire Pudding. In this article, we'll focus on sweet desserts.
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Can you freeze pudding?
Most types of pudding are suitable for freezing and, once defrosted, taste surprisingly good. Cream and mousse that are a topping on many desserts also maintained their integrity once thawed. The options that froze the best were:
- rice pudding
- sticky date pudding
- crème caramel
- panna cotta
- white pudding
- bread pudding
- yogurt pudding
- caramel pudding
- cream pudding
- pudding shots
We couldn't test everything, but hopefully, this list will give you an idea if your specific dish can also be frozen. In a nutshell, dishes with high levels of fat, sugar, and low moisture freeze the best. Also, if you've whipped cream at home, it will hold its shape better with sugar added.
Some ingredients didn't freeze as well as others. Desserts containing jello (jelly), biscuits, and fruit with high moisture content aren't ideal once thawed. What does "aren't ideal" mean? Well, their texture and visual appearance weren't as enjoyable as they returned to room temperature. Here is what we found:
- Cookies and crumbly bits lost their crunch and turned soggy.
- Puddings with jello were a fail. The gelatin bonds broke up, causing the jelly to turn into a slop once thawed.
- Fruit leaked liquid that wasn't appealing to look at. Banana pie and persimmon pie isn't well suited for freezing.
- Pie crust was okay frozen, but it is better to freeze unbaked crust.
Although we did find a few problems with freezing puddings, they generally tasted fine once defrosted. If you're entertaining, we recommend storing desserts in the fridge so that they maintain their visual appeal. We found that pudding easily lasts 2-3 days before its structure starts to reduce in quality. The longest you can leave them in the fridge before they needs to be discarded is 5-7 days.
How to freeze pudding
- To freeze, place in an airtight container or cover the top with plastic film.
- Label the side with the name of the food and the current date.
- Place the container at the back of the freezer to reduce temperature fluctuation.
Pudding can be frozen for up to 3 months before it should be eaten.
How to thaw pudding
The process of thawing is easy. Remove from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Thawing at room temperature will be quicker, but we don't recommend doing this as the heat will affect the integrity of the dessert. This is especially important if the dish has pie crust as a base – too much moisture will get absorbed into the pastry, making the texture soggy.
Note: We noticed that a pie base made of biscuit crumb performed much better than pastry bases.
Can you set pudding in the freezer?
If you've got visitors on their way and you're short on time, you may be wondering if freezing pudding will speed up the setting process? The answer is yes, you could use the freezer – but there is a better way. Half fill a large bowl with water, ice, and a sprinkle of salt. Now place the pudding into the bowl, being careful that water doesn't get into your dessert. Now place the two containers in the fridge, and you should be set for when the guests arrive.
If you decide to set a pudding in the freezer and it is still hot, you may defrost other food next to it. This will affect the quality of the food already frozen. If you have to stick your hot food in the freezer, then make sure there is plenty of space around your dessert so that it doesn't heat any food near it.
Can you freeze pudding cakes?
If you're not familiar with this type of cake, then you're in for a surprise. You get two treats in one bowl. A pudding cake comprises of a moist cake on the top layer with a creamy custard-based pudding on the bottom layer. The beauty of the desserts is how easy they are to make. Instead of making two separate elements and layering them, you can simply dump all the ingredients into the dish and let the oven work its magic.
A pudding cake is ideal for freezing, and we found the taste and texture was still excellent after freezing. As with most dishes we tested, the appearance of the cake wasn't as impressive as when it was first made. But if it's just for the family who are mostly interested in the taste, they're ideal for freezing.
Can you freeze pudding to make ice cream?
If you love to eat homemade ice cream in Summer, then you're in for a treat with the following recipe for pudding pops. A cold, chocolate frozen treat the whole family (especially the kids) can share and enjoy. The gelatin in store-bought mixes has a unique ability to turn into a popsicle texture. There's no need for any fancy appliances or ice cream making machines.
- 1 3.9 oz pack of chocolate flavor instant pudding
- 2 cups of cold milk
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a whisk or electric beater until smooth. It will usually take about 2 minutes.
- Pour into pop molds or paper cups.
- Insert a popsicle stick or a spoon into the middle of each mold then freeze for 4-5 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and run under warm water for 10-15 seconds. Gently squeeze the bottom of the mold or cup to release the pop.
Popsicles are suitable for eating straight from the freezer – there's no need to thaw.
Tips for making pops
You can whisk up two or more of your favorite pudding flavors and combining them in layers. Do a quick online search to find loads more recipes for more exciting frozen pops.
In a pinch, you can use a spoon as the handle in you popsicle. But pop sticks look better and can be purchased from some supermarkets, major department stores like Walmart or online. There is plenty of choice.
Add more texture and flavor
It is easy to add extra ingredients like cookie pieces, nuts, or fruit. Whatever you have lying around the kitchen, sprinkle it in.
- In the United States, national butterscotch pudding day is celebrated on September 19th, and chocolate pudding day is on June 26th.
- The term "pudding" is believed to be a reference to the Latin word botellus, meaning "small sausage."
- Puddings gained popularity in England during the 1850s when Alfred Bird invented an egg-free custard powder. This discovery was a breakthrough - it provided much more consistent results when baking desserts.
- The most prevalent type of pudding is chocolate. Vanilla, banana, and butterscotch are also family favorites.
- Less known types include haggis, Yorkshire pudding, and black and white pudding.
Whether you prepare your desserts at home or prefer to buy them ready-made from the shop, the time will come when you have leftovers. So what is the best way to store them?
Pudding is best stored in the fridge if you are likely to finish it within 2-3 days. If you can't meet that deadline and don't want to waste any food, then freezing is perfectly okay in most cases.
Some desserts will thaw better than others. Dishes that include jello, fruit, cookies, or pie crust didn't freeze as well as the others. But, they were edible – we just wouldn't recommend freezing and then thawing them for a special occasion. It is better to make them fresh.
Have you ever tried freezing pudding? Let us know what type and what the results were like in the comments below.