Whether you’re seeking savvy ways to ease financial pressure this festive season or simply the kind of prep-ahead Christmas cook we all aspire to be, freezing dishes in the build-up to the Big Day is a great place to start.
By ticking off trimmings on your to-do list (such as stuffing, cranberry sauce and spuds) in advance, you not only save time in the kitchen on the 25th, but also avoid that last-minute dash to the supermarket, too. Win, win.
That’s all well and good, but knowing what you can and can’t freeze without impacting the flavour is another matter entirely. Which is why we’ve recruited Delish Chef, Chloe Morgan, to shed some light this Christmas:
A key ingredient in everything from Yorkshire puddings to cakes, it's no surprise that the recent egg shortage caused panic and stockpiling.
There's no need to fear, because you can freeze and store eggs for up to 3 months in the freezer. Simply crack the eggs into a freezer bag (great for conserving precious freezer space) and defrost in the fridge overnight before using. Don't forget to separate your eggs and yolks if you plan to use them for different recipes; that way, you'll never be left short for a Swiss roll or Boxing Day brunch again.
Christmas is a time for all-out indulgence and, if you ask us, that requires plenty of double cream. Like other dairy products – including cream, milk and cheese – it's quick, easy and 100% safe to freeze cream. It can even be frozen whipped, so you have it ready to smother on your trifle or roulades.
Swede can be boiled, mashed and frozen ready for Christmas. We recommend half cooking your vegetables before freezing; this way, when you come to reheat, your vegetables won’t be watery and soft. Nobody wants that.
Pigs in blankets
Your sausages can be wrapped in bacon and frozen ahead of the big day. Whip them out the freezer on Christmas Eve and defrost overnight in the fridge ready to be cooked in the oven while your turkey is resting.
We don’t recommend freezing your roasties; however, if, like us, you like to have the choice of both mash and roast potatoes, then you’re in luck. Boil, mash, season and freeze your mashed potatoes ahead of time to tick another item off your to-do list. Defrost thoroughly before use and add a dollop of butter for added indulgence.
Braised red cabbage is a must on any Christmas table, but it does require a lengthy time on the hob. Freeze ahead, defrost, and on the day just place in a pan over medium heat and heat through until piping hot. You might want to add a little water if need to loosen it.
Gravy, bread sauce and cranberry sauce