Sometimes, you just don’t need a ton of whipped cream. Maybe you live alone, or your significant other isn’t much for sweets, or you just don’t want the leftovers tempting you from the fridge. I find myself in the second predicament all. the. time. With all the pie and cookies and cake in our apartment, there are loads of things that would be perfect with a heaping spoonful of whipped cream, but Henry just isn’t into it. And while I love whipped cream, there is no need for me to have a huge mixing bowl of the stuff on hand. A want, sure, but not a need. So instead of breaking out my electric mixer and whipping up far more than I need, I just shake it up.
-a teaspoon or tablespoon of granulated sugar (or none, it depends on your preferences)
-a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
-a mason jar
Just fill the mason jar anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of the way full, and add your sugar and vanilla. Don’t fill the jar any more than 1/3 of the way, or your cream will take eternity to whip, if it whips at all. Once your ingredients are in the jar, screw on the lid. Then shake the living daylights out of it. Listen to the jar–at first you’ll just hear liquid sloshing around, but as the cream starts to take in air, that sloshing will become more of a soft thud. Once the sloshing sound fades, open the jar every so often to check on the status of your cream. It’s ready when the jar can be held sideways and no cream threatens to dribble out. This usually takes me about five minutes of shaking. If you’re not sure if your cream is whipped enough, you can also take a spoonful out and see if it’s to your desired texture.
Don’t over-whip! If you shake the jar too much, the cream will bypass the whipped stage and start to become butter. You’ll know this has happened if your whipped cream looks grainy. I love butter (duh), but I don’t want it on top of my pie.
I know many people have large Thanksgiving gatherings where whipping cream in a jar simply isn’t practical, but if your dinner will only have a handful of guests, this is a good way to go. Plus, in a casual setting, serving things out of mason jars is totally adorable. When I bring desserts for dinner parties, it’s not uncommon for me to show up with a jar of cream–it’s way better than the stuff in a can. And plus, it makes you look so crafty.,Also, if you have little helpers that need a job this Turkey Day, put the ingredients in a tupperware with a screw top and let them shake away. Kids love helping in the kitchen, especially when it’s something they know is delicious.
If you have leftover whipped cream, just screw the lid back on the jar and stick it in the fridge. The cream will start to liquefy again as it sits in there, so just give it a little shake when you go back for more.
One last thing–whipped cream is great, but you need something to put it on! I wrote three new pie recipes this month that would be great additions to any Thanksgiving dinner. You just have to have pie on Thanksgiving! It’s the right thing to do. Between my Pumpkin, Black Bottom Pear & Almond, and Cranberry Apple Pies, it’ll be a tough (and delicious) decision determining which one to try! If you do try any of them, or my Cream Cheese Pie Dough, let me know in the comments!