Heavy cream is often an ingredient in soups, sauces, desserts, and, of course, whipped cream. But these recipes usually call for small amounts, leaving a partially full container of heavy cream that can go bad if left unused for too long. Luckily, heavy cream can be frozen until you need it next. The process differs for freezing small or large amounts of heavy cream, but either method will take just a few minutes. An ice cube tray is an ideal tool. Pour the heavy cream into the tray and place in the freezer.
Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Each cube is usually equal to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, but it is best to first measure your ice cube tray to see how much it holds (use water and a tablespoon measure). To make larger cubes, use a 2-inch ice cube tray where each cube is equal to 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
If the recipes you most often cook that require cream are more likely to call for larger quantities, then it may be best to freeze the cream in the carton that it came in. If the container is full, pour out an inch of the heavy cream to allow room for expansion when it freezes. Then simply place the carton in the freezer. How you incorporate the frozen cream into a recipe will depend on how it was frozen and whether the dish you are making is hot or cold. If the entire container was placed in the freezer, you need to thaw it in the refrigerator first. Once it is no longer solid, give it a good shake (or stir) to redistribute the butterfat. Previously frozen heavy cream will behave the same way as refrigerated cream, and will still whip into stiff peaks. In fact, cold cream actually whips better.
If you're planning to use the frozen cubes of heavy cream in a hot dish, just add them directly to the recipe. There's no need to thaw out first. If the recipe will not be heated, or you plan on whipping the cream, then the cubes need to thaw beforehand. Use or defrost only as many cubes as needed, calculating one cube for every 2 tablespoons of cream called for in a recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/4 cup of cream, use two cubes, for 1 cup, eight cubes. If the ice cube tray is large, figure one cube equals 1/2 cup of cream.