Rice pudding is a filling and healthy dish made with milk and white rice. Enjoyed as a dessert or as a side dish, rice pudding is the perfect snack for kids and the young at heart alike! But how long does rice pudding last? Can you freeze rice pudding?
Milk and rice are quite sensitive to temperature changes, so flavor and texture changes are likely if you freeze the pudding. Still, rice pudding keeps amazingly well in the freezer, so don’t worry if you’ve made a large batch. However, if you want to maximize the custard’s shelf life before freezing, we’ll share a few storage tips later in this post!
Easy Homemade Rice Pudding
Using the freshest ingredients is key to extending the shelf life of rice pudding. Here’s an easy rice pudding recipe to get you started.
you will need:
1 quarter whole milk
1 cup short or long grain white rice
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more as needed
A pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
Chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruit, nutmeg or cinnamon, and other toppings
Heat a medium-sized saucepan and pour in the milk, rice, and sugar. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat and season with salt. Stir the mixture well until the sugar has completely dissolved.
After bringing the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to a mere simmer. Leave the saucepan uncovered as you cook the mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the white rice is nicely tender.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla or almond extract, adding more sugar or salt if needed. Scoop a ladle or two into a bowl, add your favorite topping, and enjoy!
Read Also: Can you freeze kidney beans?
How do you freeze rice pudding?
Now, to prepare the rice pudding for freezing, wait until the dish has completely cooled to room temperature. When the rice pudding is completely cool, pour the bowl into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. Leave about an inch of space for the pudding to expand as it freezes. Cover the container with cling film before sealing with the airtight lid. Write down the storage date and then stick it in the freezer.
If you are pressed for time, you can speed up the cooling process by adding an ice bath to the sealed container. Simply pour the still-warm rice pudding into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid and cover with cling film. Close the airtight lid and submerge the container in ice water. Let it cool down for at least 20 minutes before storing it in the freezer. Never refreeze the thawed rice pudding.
Traditionally, rice pudding is made from whole milk. Because whole milk has a short shelf life, long-term freezing can affect the flavor and texture of the rice pudding. To minimize the changes in flavor or texture, consider using other milk substitutes such as evaporated milk, coconut milk, or sweetened condensed milk. These milk substitutes can alter the cooking times of the dish, requiring the necessary adjustments to be made in the recipe.
White rice variety
The texture of the rice pudding also depends on the type of white rice you used in the dish. Short-grain white rice gives a more watery texture, while long-grain rice gives a denser, slightly drier pudding.
If you have leftover rice pudding, do not add the topping while preparing the dish for freezing, as these ingredients will go bad much faster than the rice pudding. Simply freeze the toppings in another container and when ready to serve, sprinkle the thawed toppings over the thawed rice pudding.
Exclude the milk
Because milk spoils quickly, it’s possible to make the pudding without it to extend its shelf life. Simply prepare the rice pudding as usual, but substitute plain water for the milk. Prepare the chilled rice pudding for freezing. When ready to serve, heat the rice pudding on the stove and gradually stir in the milk until smooth and thick.
Divide into serving portions
Want to make thawing frozen rice pudding less difficult? Try to divide the leftover rice pudding into portions so you don’t have to defrost an entire vat. Remember that you cannot refreeze the thawed rice pudding!
Prepare several packages of resealable plastic bags. Place the cooled rice pudding in each of the resealable plastic bags, making sure to allow the pudding a few inches of room to expand as it freezes. Then seal the storage date. Store flat in the freezer.
Whenever you’re craving a comforting bowl of rice pudding, grab a few bags of frozen rice pudding and thaw before reheating!
Shelf life, thawing and reheating suggestions
Frozen homemade rice pudding can be stored in the freezer for at least 3 months. However, we do not recommend waiting that long before using up your supply. You need to get the rice pudding ready as soon as possible to get the best flavor and texture.To thaw the rice pudding, simply place the frozen bowl in the fridge. Let the frozen rice pudding thaw overnight. Once the rice pudding is completely thawed, it can be reheated unless you are enjoying the pudding cold. Never thaw rice pudding at room temperature. The pudding will spoil much faster if thawed this way.
To reheat the pudding, simply cook the dish in a saucepan over low heat. Pour the dish into a bowl, add a handful of toppings and enjoy! You can also reheat the rice pudding in the microwave. Just be sure to add a cup of water before reheating the pudding to keep the pudding from drying out.
Who knew freezing rice pudding was so easy? Remember our freezing tips if you want to extend the pudding’s shelf life and minimize texture or flavor changes!