It’s Strawberry Season and with a plethora of recipes out there, it’s time to take advantage of the delectable deep red berry at its full ripeness and celebrate it in one of its purest forms — strawberries and cream. The classic combination of strawberries and cream can be traced to Thomas Wolsey, a right-hand man to King Henry VIII. It is believed that he served this dish at a lavish banquet in 1509 for guests of a tennis match held at his palace. The recipe has evolved to now include strawberries and cream sandwiches, parfaits, and, of course, the incomparable southern strawberry shortcake.
Recipes for whipped cream are pretty consistent among chefs, so I’ve adapted a simple 1-2-3 Recipe from home cook favorite Rachael Ray with some variations for serving and special diets!
Homemade Whipped Cream
Ingredients: 1 cup Heavy whipping cream (Optional: for sweet version or “chantilly cream,” 2 tsp confectioners or granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1. CHILL OUT
Start with a cup of cold cream, a cold bowl and cold beaters (or a whisk if you’re really taking matters into your own hands). Keep the cream in the fridge and stick the bowl and beaters in the freezer 10 minutes before you’re ready to whip.
2. WHIP IT GOOD
Pour the cream into the bowl. (Optional: Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar, whichever you are using and add the vanilla.) Whip to soft peaks, where the whipped cream thickens to the perfect dolloping consistency (if you’ve ever seen a Cool Whip commercial, think that level of smooth structure) which should take around 3 minutes with a mixer or 5 minutes by hand.
If you go too far, you’ll end up with a chunky, lumpy mess — but don’t panic. Just add a splash more cream and give it one or two turns with the whisk to smooth things out.
HOW TO SERVE – 3 WAYS
Serve in a bowl alongside fresh cut strawberries or whole strawberries for dipping.
Layer in a clear glass for a pretty “parfait” look!
Cut a slice of pound cake or angel food cake and top with a dollop of cream and fresh cut strawberries for a classic “Strawberry Shortcake.”
With so many local strawberry farms around, it’s time to head out to pick up your strawberries and make this delicious dessert!