Rice pudding is a delicious treat for any time of the year. Serve it hot during cold winter nights with a bit of cinnamon, or serve it cold with a crème brûlée topping just as the sun rises on a hot summer day.
But rice pudding can take a while to make. I always see rice puddings in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, but I never see them in the freezer. Can rice pudding be frozen?
Rice pudding can be frozen. The texture may change a bit, but the pudding will keep its flavor. You can freeze rice pudding for up to 3 months.
It is better to freeze rice pudding in small cup size batches. If you place walnuts or raisins or coconut shreds in the rice pudding, they will freeze and keep their flavor as well.
What to Know About Freezing Rice Pudding
The texture of rice pudding changes when it is stored in the freezer. All the flavor and the ingredients inside will retain their flavor, but the texture of the rice itself will become softer.
You may be able to tell if the rice pudding was stored in the refrigerator or the freezer after you take a bite.
When liquid freezes, it expands. That is why water bottles explode in the freezer after they reach a certain point. If the bottle is filled to the top, there is nowhere for the expanding ice to go.
When the ice expands past a certain point, the plastic will burst open.
The liquid in the rice grains will expand and rice grains will expand along with it. When the rice pudding is frozen and then defrosted, it will taste mushier.
Rice pudding is already mushy, so most people won’t really notice the difference.
If you notice the difference, try changing the texture by mixing in some extra toppings.
How to Tell if Rice Pudding Is Bad
If rice pudding is stored in the freezer, there’s always a chance it will develop freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when trapped air inside a container of food in the freezer draws moisture out of the food.
Have you ever removed a package of meat or vegetables from the freezer and saw that there was ice buildup on the food in the package? The ice didn’t appear out of nowhere.
The air that was trapped inside the package of food pulled the moisture out of the food and allowed it to collect on different parts of the package.
This also means the food is no longer moist. If you defrost freezer burned food and try to cook it, it may have the same flavor, but its texture will be completely different as it doesn’t have as much moisture as it should have.
Freezer burned rice pudding may be hard and the rice grains might stick to your teeth or be hard to chew.
If there is a small amount of freezer burn on one side of the rice pudding, let the rice pudding defrost, and then cut away the freezer burned part of the pudding.
The rest of the pudding should be just fine. But if you see the freezer burn all around the rice pudding, then it may not be tasty or pleasant to eat.
How to Store Rice Pudding
When storing rice pudding in the freezer, it is best to store rice pudding in small containers. Do not place a large container of rice pudding in the freezer.
It will freeze unevenly. Depending on the amount of rice pudding, the center of the rice pudding could remain unfrozen for 24 hours. This may cause the rice pudding to rot.
If you don’t have any small containers, most dollar stores have cheap ones available that will work great. Spoon about a cup of rice pudding into each container.
Not only will this be more convenient and easier to place in the freezer as it will not take up a large amount of space, you’ll be able to take one serving out.
If you place the rice pudding in a large container in the freezer, you’ll have to remove the entire container if you want a single serving of rice pudding.
When is Rice Pudding Bad?
Most rice puddings are made of milk and have several dairy ingredients, including butter and cream. Consuming rotted or old dairy will ruin the rest of your night as you must sit on the toilet for hours.
Here’s how to tell if the rice pudding in your refrigerator or in your freezer is bad.
- There’s a lot of freezer burn. As we said before, freezer burn occurs when trapped air draws moisture out of the dish or food and collects on the food.
- The pudding smells old or rotted. If the pudding smells tangy or sour, then it is no longer safe to eat.
- The pudding is hard to chew, or it sticks to the roof of your mouth. Pudding is a bit sticky, but it shouldn’t stick to the roof of your mouth or require a toothbrush to get all the grains out of your teeth.
- There are clumps of dairy or liquid in the rice pudding. Rice pudding is thick but it should still be creamy. If you notice that there are small clumps of dairy or liquid around the rice pudding, then it’s probably going bad.
Conclusion to Freezing Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is a delicious treat, but always be on the lookout for signs that the pudding is old or bad. Rice pudding can be frozen, but it shouldn’t be frozen in one big container.
Smaller containers make it easier to defrost and eat single servings of rice pudding. If you add eggs to the rice pudding, then it will not last as long in the freezer.
Rice pudding with eggs will only last up to 2 months.