Now you can have fresh Make-Ahead Whipped Cream that will keep well for all of your holiday pies without all the fuss!
So, you already all know of my deep and fond love of anything pie. Well, since I’m kind of such a homemade, make-it-from-scratch kind of pie fanatic, there’s one thing that I must have in addition to my pie. And that’s a heavy dose of whipped cream to top it all off!
Yes, I am a whipped cream snob. Sorry. Spray cans? Eh….. Cool Whip? In desperation, well, I guess acceptable. (Actually I used to sneak Cool Whip out of the freezer when I was kid and eat it like ice cream. A little gross, huh! Sorry, Mom and Dad. Here’s my confession after all of these years…..) No, there’s just not a good replacement for that fresh cream, lightly sweetened, that has just a touch of vanilla added. Mmmmm. Now that’s the stuff.
Problem is, like I said, you want it fresh. Making it ahead results in what you may consider a deflated soupy mess of sorts, since after such a short time, the whipped cream tends to start separating. So, usually what happens is right before pie serving time, I’m sneaking into to kitchen to get that cream ready, and by sneaking I mean, MAKING A WHOLE LOTTA FREAKIN’ NOISE. How do you really sneak when you have to turn the hand mixer on to high speed? Soon everyone who’s been settling into their turkey hangover is abruptly startled wondering what the freak is going on, just for them to realize that “Oh, it’s just crazy Christina. Whipping her ‘fresh’ cream.”
Yeah, I know. Call me a purist, call me lame, whatever. This why when I came across this professional cream whipper that can produce whipped cream on the spot (it has pressured aerosol canisters to whip the fresh cream that you put in), I was sold. And my husband was like, seriously, Christina? Maybe we should make sure we got the bases covered first (you know, like, milk, diapers, soap…. a professional cream whipper doesn’t fit in that category for real? Aw man. Although I have noticed less-expensive models popping up now……Who am I kidding? I’m still definitely going to own one of these someday.)
Anyway, that’s where I was at. And then, that’s when I discovered this beautiful little secret. I went to make this Fallen Chocolate Cake recipe on Bon Appetit, and I go to make the topping. It had an intriguing combination of whipping cream and mascarpone for the topping. (Have you ever heard of mascarpone? Don’t ask me to pronounce it, and say it however you want actually, because most people do say it wrong so I say anything’s fair game. Basically it’s Italian cream cheese – a bit like the stuff we are familiar with, just softer, silkier, and smoother). I made this topping, and then I realized a couple of genius things:
1) the cream set up SOOOO much faster.
2) the mixture still seemed to have the consistency of whipped cream.
3) the mixture was much more stable, so long after we put it on the cake, it still held its form extremely well and wasn’t separating, but still had a great smooth and fluffy whipped cream consistency.
And then the light bulb went on. Why wouldn’t I just add a little bit of mascarpone to my other whipped cream when I’m using it for toppings, for basically anything? Yes.
No more crazy Christina whipping out her beater blades last minute on T-day trying to get the cream ready. No, there would be no more of that.
Seriously you guys. This make-ahead whipped cream could not be easier, and IMO, could not be tastier. I’m in love with the stuff. You don’t want to go crazy and make it days in advance, but it will keep really well for about 24 hours from my experience (I’ve honestly never tried longer than that because we use it up). I’d probably really just recommend morning of or a few hours in advance in an ideal situation. The recipe is really flexible so you can adjust according to what you like. The original recipe did about a 2 to 1 ratio of whipping cream to mascarpone, but you can actually do much less, more like a 4 to 1 ratio which is what I prefer. I tend to like to keep my whipped cream light on the powdered sugar, but once again, this is all really personal preference.
So, now there is an in-between for all the canned/frozen/processed whipped creamish products at the store, and making a huge ruckus in the kitchen right at pie eating time. And it doesn’t result in a lighter pocket book (but seriously, I’m still getting that cream whipper canister someday. ‘Cuz I’m just kinda obsessed like that.)
One quick question I want to address that has come up. What about using just normal cream cheese versus this “fancy” mascarpone? (Really guys, it’s not that fancy – you can pretty much buy it anywhere these days, but I understand, it’s a crazy Italian word that no one can pronounce.) The answer is, YES, you can use cream cheese, with caution. You see, cream cheese just doesn’t quite have that silky smooth consistency that mascarpone has. So as I found out the first time I experimented putting it straight in with the cream to whip, it can result in little cream cheese lumps. Not really ideal. The solution to this is instead to beat it separately with the sugar (room temperature), and then fold it into your whipped cream. It’s a good substitution in a pinch, but I would always personally lean towards using the mascarpone because it’s a bit simpler for the prep since you can literally just throw all of the ingredients together and whip, and the results have never failed me.
No-Deflate Make-Ahead Whipped Cream
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup mascarpone may use more if desired
- 3-6 tablespoons powdered sugar may use more if desired, depending on preference
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
With a hand mixer, beat on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form.
Store until later use. (Would make no more than a day ahead.)
Change it Up:
Substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone. However, you must whip the cream cheese and sugar separately from the whipped cream and then simply fold it in at the end. Not doing so may result in cream cheese lumps.
Need some stuff to put this cream on? How about these:
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