I have some spare egg yolks that I want to use and not throw away and I've decided to make some vanilla custard. But I have no use for the custard right now and might decide to make Portuguese tarts later.

So, is it possible to freeze custard and for how long will it keep? If yes, are there any tips to thaw it?

3 Answers 3


Freezing and thawing the prepared custard will likely result in an undesirable texture. However, you can successfully freeze just the egg yolks. According to the American Egg Board's eggcyclopedia:

The gelation property of egg yolk causes it to thicken or gel when frozen, so you need to give yolks special treatment. If you freeze them as they are, egg yolks will eventually become so gelatinous that they will be almost impossible to use in a recipe.

To help retard this gelation, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup of egg yolks (about 4 yolks). Label the container with the number of yolks, the date, and whether you’ve added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for baking or desserts).

Curiously, in the United States, soft ice cream is sometimes called Frozen Custard. As @Jolenealaska points out, you could make that instead, though it's probably quite different than what you have in mind.

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Custard does not freeze well, it has a tendency to separate. If you do freeze it, freeze it right away, leave it frozen for as little time as possible, and defrost it in the refrigerator. I wouldn't leave it in the freezer for more than a month.

One way to freeze custard and get great results is to make ice cream! If you have an ice cream maker, great. If not, that's OK too. Custard based ice creams get less icy than other types of ice cream when made without churning. Just thoroughly stir every half an hour while freezing for at least three hours.


If you add 1/2 tsp of cornflour to your custard before freezing it will prevent it from separating/curdling during the defrosting stage. Also let it defrost naturally in the fridge rather than using a microwave to defrost as the heat from the microwave may cause the egg yolks to actually cook and all you'll end up with is sweet scrambled eggs.

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