Rice pudding is a simple but scrumptious traditional dessert, dating back to 1390 in England’s oldest surviving book of recipes. Over time it became a cheap and filling staple in England and spread to the rest of the globe. If you love rice pudding, you may be curious to know the secret of how long you can make it last in your fridge and freezer.
You can freeze rice pudding and enjoy it for weeks after it’s made as long you store it properly in a sealed container. However, like all dairy products, rice pudding has an expiry date, meaning if you decide to store it in the fridge instead, you won’t have much time to eat it.
Read on to learn more about the delectable dessert and how to optimize storage to make it last.
Can You Freeze Rice Pudding?
You can freeze rice pudding—but you’ll want to do it quickly—because it has high milk content, and milk is susceptible to temperature changes. However, freezing any dairy-based dessert is bound to cause some changes to the consistency and taste.
Although you can store rice pudding in a freezer for up to 3 months, it’s not recommended to wait this long before eating the dessert. The fresher the pudding when you eat it, the better it’ll taste.
However, if you’d like to make a big batch at once and freeze it for an easy dessert at a later date, you can certainly do so. The key to freezing rice pudding is to seal it up in an airtight container. When freezing puddings, air is the enemy as it’s likely to cause freezer burn.
So, it’s recommended that you use a container with an airtight lid. Alternatively, you can also use a plastic freezer bag. By placing the pudding in the bag, you can quite easily squeeze out all of the extra air before sealing the bag.
Also, it’s best to consider freezing the rice pudding in small batches so that you can just remove, thaw, and eat the amount you want right then.
You can thaw rice pudding by removing it from the freezer and popping it in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight. You’ll want to eat the pudding as soon after thawing as possible.
Once thawed, it won’t last more than a couple of days in the fridge.
How Long Can You Keep Rice Pudding For?
You can freeze rice pudding for up to 3 months. However, you must eat it within a day or two of thawing. Storing rice pudding at room temperature will result in the milk spoiling, so be sure to store it in the fridge or freezer when it’s not being eaten.
You can thaw rice pudding by leaving it in the fridge overnight, so it defrosts but remains cool, then you can heat it by microwaving it or by heating it on a stove in a pan. If you decide to reheat it in a microwave, be sure to add some water so that the pudding doesn’t dry out and congeal.
The best way to freeze rice pudding is by separating it into single-serve portions so that when the time comes to thaw it, the thaw won’t take as long, and the batch as a whole will not spoil. The batch will spoil if removed from the freezer and exposed to air continuously.
Signs Your Rice Pudding Has Gone Bad
The longer you leave rice pudding in storage, the higher the chances of it going bad. Here are a few tell-tale signs that it might be time to throw the pudding out.
You Noticed Liquid Pooling in the Pudding
Chemical processes triggered by heat can cause a breakdown in starch, releasing water molecules and making the pudding watery.
Suppose you’re eating the pudding directly out of the container. In that case, enzymes in your saliva might be responsible for this watery substance, as the chemicals in your saliva are beginning to break down the pudding. Think of it as a form of digestion, but without the benefit of actually eating the food.
There Are Mold Spots or Marks on the Pudding’s Surface
Perhaps the most apparent visual signal that your snacks are past their expiration date, any sign of dark spots or bright specks on your pudding means that you need to dispose of it. Digesting this mold can cause illness, and if left open in the fridge, it can spread to other open foods.
The Pudding Has a Sour or Bitter Taste
When rice goes bad, it can become rancid and taste sour or bitter. The same goes for rice pudding; if it tastes strange, it’s probably best to avoid eating it. You want to avoid eating spoilt food because it could make you sick.
How To Make Your Rice Pudding Last
In addition to the tips discussed previously, there are several ways to keep your pud fresh and tasty for longer.
Make It Work Without Milk
Replace the milk in the recipe with regular water. It’ll allow the pudding to last longer without the likelihood of the milk going sour or rancid, though the result may not be as creamy. Additionally, as detailed further below, you can use milk substitutes such as oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, and even rice milk.
(Find out more about using milk substitutes for rice pudding below.)
Take Away the Toppings
Toppings frozen with the pudding will go bad much faster than the actual pudding itself will, so to extend the shelf-life of the overall dish, it may be best to store the toppings in a separate container and add these when you are reheating a serving or two.
Leave Some Breathing Room
The dessert will inevitably expand when it freezes, so it’s advisable to store the rice pudding in a container with a bit of extra room to maximize space and efficiency. Here’s where storing the pudding in single servings comes in handy, as it’ll be far easier to store in general if done in several smaller containers rather than one big one.
Wrap the Rice Pudding or Container With a Cling Wrap
In addition to the airtight, freezer-friendly container, you can cling wrap the pudding or the container to add a little extra protection against souring.
Note: It’s crucial that the container you use to store your pudding in is freezer-friendly and won’t end up cracking or damaged in the freezer.
Factors To Consider When Using Milk Substitutes in Rice Pudding
Some people choose to use milk substitutes when making this delectable dish. Several factors influence ingredient-tweaking, some of which are discussed below.
Some folks are lactose intolerant, and rice pudding contains plenty of lactose. It’s an easy fix, and you can substitute dairy with alternatives that are just as creamy, such as rice or oat milk. Water can also be used as a substitute, but it isn’t as creamy or rich as milk or milk substitutes.
Health or Dietary Restrictions
Dairy contains a large amount of fat and protein, which could threaten a diet centered around weight loss, especially when combined with sugar and starch. Healthier choices include soy or almond milk. Dietary restrictions can also include veganism, for which these milk alternatives are also great options.
Texture, Taste, and Consistency
Frozen rice pudding becomes less delicious the longer it is left frozen, and this is partially due to the changes milk undergoes when it is frozen for long periods. Frozen milk can become grainy, and eventually, the fat in the milk will begin to separate.
What Is Rice Pudding?
Rice pudding is a creamy, milky dessert made from long-grain rice, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. For extra zest and flavor, it’s common for people to add cinnamon and even raisins to their pud recipes.
There are two methods for making rice pudding: baking and boiling. Experimentation is the best way to work out what method you prefer, and really, there’s no disadvantage to making this recipe again and again.
Rice pudding is a classic treat that requires a little patience, as it takes around 40 minutes to an hour to make. Then, of course, you have to allow it to cool before you can eat it, let alone store it in a fridge or freezer.
If you’re interested in the history of rice pudding, read The Rise of Rice Pudding—a History and a 14th-century recipe.
People Also Ask
Are Dessert Rice and Sticky Rice the Same Thing?
Dessert rice and sticky rice aren’t the same things. Technically, dessert rice is not a type of rice on its own; it refers to a grain that lends itself to becoming thick and creamy, and sticky when cooked. However, sticky rice is typically used for rice balls and cakes due to its glue-like quality.
Think about rice like flour; most kinds can be used interchangeably, but the one made for a particular purpose wields better results.
Is Rice Pudding Made With Egg?
Rice pudding is not typically made with eggs. Many rice pudding recipes won’t include eggs because the rice becomes an excellent binding agent on its own, but you can add eggs to most puddings to enhance the thickness and richness.
Rice pudding has gained a reputation as a classic, dependable dessert that has stood the test of time.
While freezing rice pudding isn’t the first choice when it comes to its consistency and flavor, it is an option that will allow you to store it long-term in the freezer for up to 3 months.