Butter Unsalted butter keeps for up to 9 months. Freeze in the foil wrapping for 1–2 weeks, but for longer periods overwrap in polythene. Salted butter has a shorter life of about 6 months.
Milk Ordinary milk does not freeze but it’s worth putting a carton of homogenized milk in the freezer before you go on holiday, for the day you return. Milk that is in waxed cartons can be put in just as it is and has a keeping life of about 1 month.
Cream Cream has a tendency to separate when frozen but it happens less with double cream. Remember to transfer the cream from the container in which you buy it to a new one which will allow the necessary 1-cm (½-in) headspace at the top of the carton. Frozen double cream will whip up when thawed, although not so thickly as fresh cream so it’s better to use it for cooking purposes in ice creams and desserts. Lightly whipped cream can be piped out on to waxed paper in rosettes. Freeze uncovered until firm, then carefully pack in a rigid container. Use for decoration on summer desserts. Place on the dessert while still frozen, about 15 minutes before serving, as they thaw quickly. Do not keep cream more than 2–3 weeks.