Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Using and Freezing Milk Nearing its Expiration Date

Lately we have found ourselves, several times, with milk that is getting ready to pass its sell-by date. I realize that just because it is past the date doesn't mean that its bad, but I'm never willing to risk it. I hate to throw it out, however, especially when it is the good quality semi-local milk that we prefer to buy.

Our solution to this problem has been to use the milk to make something that will be frozen. There are several things that could be made with this intent. My favorite is a simple pie, made with instant pudding. You might be thinking, that isn't a "real" pie, especially not with instant pudding, and you might be right. However, this is the type of pie I've enjoyed since my childhood. Even though I now appreciate real pie, especially Derby Day Pie, I'll probably never give up my instant pudding pies on graham cracker crusts.

Once the pie has been made we simply stick it in the freezer to harden. Once the pie is frozen it can then be removed and cut into pieces, before being put into a container for long term storage. I like to use a pizza cutter, similar to this one, for cutting the pie. I then normally store it in a plastic storage container and just leave it in the freezer until I'm ready for a piece of pie.

When I want a piece of pie I simply place it on a plate and defrost it in the microwave. I'll readily admit that the defrosted pie isn't quite as good as if it were fresh. However, I can have a piece of defrosted pie within a minute of deciding I want it, rather than spending the time to make the pie and wait for it to set. I also believe it is preferable to letting the milk be thrown out, which is surely what would in most cases if I did not make a pie from it.

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