Can You Freeze Custard: How To Restore Homemade

Custard is a delicious dessert that many enjoy. Whether it be homemade or bought from a store, the United States is a big fan. Here’s the scoop on can you freeze custard!

close up of custard in bowl

Although you may be wondering, is it possible to freeze custard?

The answer is yes, but there are steps to take in order to successfully freeze, thaw, and store your custard safely with the best results.

Factors Affecting Custard Texture

Custard texture can be influenced by several factors, such as the ingredients used and the specific ratios between them.

Here’s the scoop on the impact that milk, eggs, sugar, and cornstarch have on custard base and the texture of custard.

Milk and Eggs

Milk and eggs are the primary ingredients in custard, and their proportions can greatly affect the final product.

When making custard, using more milk can lead to a thinner texture, while increasing the number of eggs can result in a thicker, more pudding-like consistency.

It is usually recommended to use a single egg yolk to milk ratio, although it depends on how large of a batch is being made.

One of the top tips is finding the right balance and portion size between milk and eggs to achieve the best results. 


custard in a bowl with egg yolks

Sugar is another critical component of custard, contributing to its flavor and consistency.

Too little sugar can make the custard taste bland, while high sugar content can cause it to become overly sweet and interfere with the freezing process.

Crystallization may occur during freezing if there’s a lot of sugar, resulting in a grainy texture when the custard is thawed.

Some even use corn syrup as a replacement for sugar. Managing the sugar levels appropriately is the best way to maintain a smooth and creamy custard, even after freezing.


Cornstarch is sometimes used as a thickening agent in custard recipes.

It can help provide structure and stability, particularly when you want to prevent the custard from separating or from the custard’s consistency becoming too runny.

When incorporating cornstarch into your custard, it creates creme patissiere.

Known as a set custard, it’s important to add the right amount.

The only problem with using cornstarch is that too little will have minimal impact on the texture, whereas too much can cause the custard to become overly thick, with a starchy or chalky texture.

In general, a small amount of cornstarch can help stabilize custard, giving it a better consistency, without significantly compromising its taste or mouthfeel.

How to Freeze Custard

custard in a bowl with toppings and spoons

Cooling the Custard

Before freezing leftover custard, it’s important to let it cool completely, which may take a little time.

A great way to do this is to place the custard in the refrigerator for a few hours until it reaches room temperature.

This helps to prevent the formation of ice crystals and ensures a smoother texture once thawed.

Preparing Freezer-Safe Containers

Select an airtight, freezer-safe plastic container to store the custard. These containers help protect the custard from freezer burn and maintain its quality and good result.

Make sure to choose containers that can accommodate the desired portion sizes.

Portion Sizes

To make it easy to defrost and serve specific amounts of custard for a later date, consider dividing the batch of custard into small portions with easier access.

This can be done by using separate containers or by freezing the custard in individual serving sizes using ice cube trays or a silicone muffin pan.

Be sure to leave some space at the top of each container, as the custard might expand slightly during freezing.


After dividing the custard into the appropriate portion sizes, label each freezer container with the current date and the contents.

This will help you identify the custard in the freezer and track its shelf life. Custard can generally be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Following these steps ensures that your custard maintains its taste and quality while frozen. When it’s time to enjoy the custard, simply thaw it properly and serve as desired.

Freezing Specific Custard Dishes

clear glass filled with custard and garnish with strawberries

Custard Pie

There are different ways to eat custard. Custard pies are a great option and can be frozen, but with a few reservations.

It is generally recommended to freeze only baked custard pies, and not those with meringue or whipped cream toppings.

To freeze a baked custard pie, first allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil.

Finally, place it in a resealable freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw the frozen treat in the refrigerator before serving and be aware that the texture may change slightly upon freezing and thawing.

Baked Custard

Baked custard can be frozen, as long as proper care is taken during the freezing process. To freeze baked custard, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. The first step is to cool the custard completely.
  2. Place individual servings in airtight containers, or if freezing a large batch, slice it into smaller portions.
  3. Wrap each portion tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. Place wrapped custard in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container.
  5. Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Keep in mind that the texture of baked custard may change when it is frozen and thawed.

Custard Tarts

custard in a serving dish

Custard Tarts are another favorite way to eat custard. Follow this simple recipe below to use up your custard and create a delicious dessert you can freeze to eat later:

  1. For the pastry in a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, and butter. Stir in sugar, egg yolks, and water. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plast wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  3. In a medium saucepan on low heat add whole milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to lightly simmer. 
  4. In a large bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar. The new look of the mixure should be pale and bubbly. Remove the warm milk from the heat and slowly drizzle into the egg yolks while whisking. Whisk in vanilla bean if making vanilla custard. 
  5. Rub softened butter inside tart molds and place onto a large baking sheet. 
  6. When dough is chilled, roll out onto a floured surface. Use a cookie cutter to cut circles. Place each circle into the molds or the bottom of the pan and press to fit. 
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 350. Cook for 10 more minutes. 
  8. Remove from the oven and place the warm custard tarts on to a cooling rack. Add chocolate chips or other toppings to the top for added flavor. 

Regular Ice Cream Versus Custard

yellow custard in bowls

The difference between ice cream and frozen custard has a lot to do with ingredients. A regular ice cream base uses mainly dairy products such as milk, cream, and sweetener.

When using an ice cream maker or ice cream machine there is a larger amount of air when mixing and freezing the ingredients.

A frozen custard machine adds in as little amount of air as possible to give it a thicker desired texture.

Custard Ice Cream

Custard ice cream can be successfully frozen, as it is specifically designed to maintain a creamy texture when frozen.

In fact, the delicious dessert is simply ice cream, with added egg yolks.

When ice cream freezes with added egg yolks it creates a smoother texture and richer flavor that tastes so good you will want to lick the back of the spoon. It is delicious and a simple process.

To freeze custard ice cream, follow these tips:

  1. Make sure the ice cream is well-chilled before transferring it to a freezer-safe container.
  2. Press a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  3. Seal the container with an airtight lid.
  4. Store the custard ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer, away from the door.

Custard ice cream should maintain its quality for about 3 months in the freezer, although its flavor may diminish over time. Thaw the ice cream slightly before serving for optimal scoopability and texture.

Thawing and Defrosting Custard

fancy custard in glass whipped on the top

Thawing Process

To properly thaw your frozen custard, it’s essential to follow a few key steps. First, remove the custard from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly.

This defrosting process can take up to 24 hours, depending on the size and thickness of the custard.

Thawing in the refrigerator ensures a more even defrosting and helps maintain the custard’s creamier texture.

Once the custard has thawed, it’s likely to separate, with water and the fat content splitting apart.

Don’t worry; the good news is, it’s possible to bring it back to its original creamy texture it had in the first place.

Gently reheat the defrosted custard in a heavy saucepan on the lowest possible heat or lowest possible setting.

Using a balloon whisk, stir continuously. As the custard warms and begins to steam, the separated components will start to blend back together.

Keep stirring and heating gently until the custard reaches the desired consistency.

Refreezing Custard

While it’s technically possible to freeze, thaw, and use custard again, the main difference is that it’s not recommended to refreeze thawed custard.

Refreezing can negatively impact the taste and texture of the custard, leading to a grainy or icy consistency. This makes it more difficult to return to its original texture if refrozen.

When the custard is refrozen after thawing, ice crystals that formed during the initial freezing process can grow larger, causing the final product to be less palatable.

It’s recommended to only thaw and use the custard once to maintain its taste and quality.

To recap, properly thawing and defrosting custard can help you regain its creamy smoothness.

Remember to gently reheat the custard on the stovetop while stirring, and avoid refreezing to prevent a compromised texture.

Shelf Life and Storage Guidelines

custard in a serving bowl

Custard can be frozen to extend its shelf life, although the freezing and thawing process may affect its texture. If done properly, you can freeze custard for up to 3 months.

To store it safely in the fridge, pay close attention to the use-by date and consume it within a short period.

When freezing custard, it’s essential to protect it from freezer burn. One method is to wrap portions in aluminum foil before placing them in freezer-safe containers or bags.

This helps maintain the texture and taste of the custard when you eventually thaw and consume it.

It’s a good idea to freeze smaller batches of custard, allowing you to thaw only what you need, reducing the need for refreezing.

Remember, it is not recommended to refreeze custard once it has been thawed.

In the fridge, ensure that the custard is stored in a covered container, and monitor the use-by date. It’s essential to consume custard within the recommended time frame to avoid spoiling or food safety issues.

When defrosting frozen custard, it’s crucial to do it slowly and preferably in the refrigerator. This process helps maintain the texture and taste, reducing potential separation or grittiness in the custard.

In summary, while freezing custard is possible, it requires proper storage techniques and attention to detail during the thawing process.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy extended custard shelf life with minimal changes in texture or taste.

Making Homemade Frozen Custard

a bowl of custard with topping

Freezing custard may seem tricky, but with a few precautionary steps, you can enjoy delicious homemade frozen custard that tastes like the real deal.

First, begin by preparing your custard. A homemade custard recipe typically includes ingredients like egg yolks, sugar, milk, and heavy cream.

You may also add vanilla extract for added flavor. Warm all ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan.

Once your custard is prepared, it’s essential to let it cool down to room temperature. Cooling the custard prevents ice crystals from forming during the freezing process.

You can speed up the cooling process by placing the custard container in a bowl of ice water, creating an ice bath, and stirring for a few minutes.

When the custard has cooled down, consider portion sizes for freezing. Utilize freezer-safe containers to store the custard.

If you want to freeze it all together, a large container is suitable. Alternatively, divide the custard into smaller, individual-serving containers for easy thawing and consumption later.

Next, press a piece of waxed paper onto the surface of the custard in each container. This step helps prevent freezer burn and preserves the custard’s texture.

Ensure your containers have airtight lids, then place them in the freezer. It is recommended to freeze custard for up to three months.

Keep in mind that freezing custard may cause it to separate or split. However, if the custard splits this typically does not affect the taste.

Therefore, do not panic if you have split custard. You can still enjoy homemade frozen custard as a delicious treat with minimal impact on its quality.

If you want to get creative with your frozen custard, consider adding flavors such as fruit, chocolate, coffee, or caramel to your homemade mix.

Regardless of your chosen flavor, homemade frozen custard offers a luscious and creamy dessert option that you can conveniently store and enjoy any time you please.

Final Thoughts

bowl filled with custard and cinnamon

The question of whether you can freeze custard brings considerations that depend on the specific type and intended use of the custard.

Custard, a rich and creamy dessert made with eggs and milk, can come in various forms, including homemade ice cream or as a component of traditional coney island treats.

When it comes to freezing custard, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially if you are dealing with store-bought or commercially prepared custard.

Freezing homemade custard, which may contain egg yolk solids, can result in a change in texture and consistency, affecting the overall quality of the dessert.

However, custard used as an ingredient in New York-style coney island treats can withstand freezing, as it is typically mixed with other ingredients.

As with any culinary endeavor, it is advisable to refer to specific guidelines and recipes to ensure the best results when freezing custard or incorporating it into your frozen treats.

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