Sweetened condensed milk is a staple to some of our most favorite delicious desserts and sweet treats.
But what about when we have too much of it? Can we pop it in the freezer for a later date?
The answer, in short, is YES!
Yes, the good news is that our gorgeously golden sweetened condensed milk can be saved for another day in the freezer. However, it needs to be frozen properly and thawed safely in order for it to be used again.
Keep reading to find out exactly how to do this, and how you can use your leftover sweetened condensed milk for a whole host of yummy treats including fudge, pancakes, and as an accompaniment to coffee!
How to freeze sweetened condensed milk
Sweetened condensed milk can be frozen super easily, as long as it is done correctly. Before we start explaining how to freeze it, we need to address something important.
Sweetened condensed milk doesn’t exactly freeze as you might expect it to. It doesn’t freeze solid like most other things. This may seem odd, and if you didn’t know this you may have thought something was wrong with your sweetened condensed milk, or worse still, that your freezer had broken.
The reason it doesn’t freeze solid is because of the very high sugar content (yummy!). Because of the amount of sugar in there, it just gets thicker, almost like a slushie or ice cream rather than a solid block. That is absolutely fine though and you can be assured that it will still be preserved.
Now that we have cleared that up, we can talk about freezing it. In terms of storage, you should use an airtight container that is safe for use in a freezer, as opposed to freezer bags.
You simply decant the leftover sweetened condensed milk into the container, label it, ensure it is shut tight, and then place it into the freezer. Place it flat on a shelf to ensure it sets evenly. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months, provided it is stored properly.
You could also use ice cube trays! Pour the sweetened condensed milk carefully into ice cube trays, ensuring you cover the top because it doesn’t freeze solid, which could cause messy spillages.
These could be used in your favorite hot drinks, or even put on top of super hot, freshly made pancakes instead of cubes of butter or syrup!
How to defrost sweetened condensed milk
Defrosting sweetened condensed milk is super easy, and doesn’t involve lots of patience and messing around like some other foods. There are a few options that you can consider.
Due to the fact that sweetened condensed milk does not freeze solid, but rather thickens and maintains the consistency of molasses, you can actually choose to use it right out of the freezer. This is particularly helpful if you are in a rush to get your condensed milk fix or don’t mind it being cold.
You can use this method if you just need a small amount of it. For example, if you want to put it into coffee, grab a clean spoon, scoop some out, and put it straight into your hot coffee. It also drizzles well, albeit slowly, over hot pancakes.
If you need the whole lot of it or want it to be room temperature, take the whole container or decant some of it into a dish, and leave it covered loosely in your kitchen for around one hour.
To speed this process up, you could actually place the airtight container whole into a bowl of warm water. Separation is uncommon but does still happen, so if it does occur just give it a good stir with a spoon and you’ll be good to go!
Another popular method of freezing sweetened condensed milk is popping it in ice cube trays. This is especially good if you tend to use your sweetened condensed milk in drinks.
When it comes to defrosting these, you can actually just place each cube into your drink or recipe of choice. The heat of the drink will defrost it quickly for you, especially as it doesn’t freeze solidly.
If you do have lots of patience you can, of course, leave it in your refrigerator overnight and it will be ready the next day!
Factors to consider before freezing sweetened condensed milk
The first thing you should consider before freezing your delicious sweetened condensed milk is how long it has already been opened. Because of its high sugar content, and the fact the milk is heat treated to get rid of harmful bacteria, it boasts a very long shelf life.
That being said. Like everything this yummy, it does eventually go bad. Bear in mind that it keeps for two weeks in the fridge, so if it has already been kept in the fridge for over that amount of time, you probably shouldn’t freeze it.
Ensure it is either fresh out of the tin or has been open for less than two weeks.
Also, you should keep in mind that if your sweetened condensed milk is a lower sugar version, or uses another way to sweeten it other than sugar, it may well freeze differently. This is because the sugar in the typical version is what keeps it from freezing solid.
Taking that sugar out, or indeed even using less, may cause it to freeze solidly, which would in turn alter the defrosting methods.
We hope this article has shown you exactly what to expect when you freeze your sweetened condensed milk, how to defrost it, and factors to consider before doing so.
Remember to keep in mind that it doesn’t freeze solidly as you may expect other liquids to do, and for this reason, it will always retain thick molasses-like consistency.
Ensure it is fresh before you freeze it, and once it is in your freezer, you should use it within 3 months!