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Whipped cream quandry - what do people actually like?

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I'm only too happy to make whipped cream to accompany pumpkin pie after my Thanksgiving meal - but it occured to me that lots of people like the spray stuff in cans or even cool whip. It wouldn't hurt to not have to deal with more dishes (no dishwasher) at that point in the evening. Ultimately, I just want to please my guests - what do you do? What do people like? Many thanks...

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  1. Gosh, its so easy to make the real deal - that's what we do in our family.

    1. I have one of those aerosol things where you put in the cream and add the gas. It is fabulous and stays frothy for a long time.

      Don't make homemade pie and insult it with chemical cream.

      1. Fresh whipped cream is always freferable if it can be swung. With a cold bowl and cold cream and sugar, it's not that big a deal to make. Redi whip is next but a step down and then cool whip is below that. Dietary restrictions may also come into play.

        jfood applauds your ""I just want to please my guests" statement.

        1. Much prefer the real deal. And actually, in our home we prefer it with no sugar -- just plain whipped cream. Since we are usually putting it on a fairly sweet dessert (pumpkin pie, etc.), the clean, creamy taste is what we prefer. We don't want any cloying, overly sweet (and fake!) taste added.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LNG212

            I'm with you on the "no sugar". But I will warn that most people think this is odd....

          2. I always make a batch of fresh whipped cream for the pies. But I also buy a can of the aerosol stuff because that way when my family eats the leftovers over the course of a few days, there is always whipped cream handy.

            1. Thanksgiving is 1 of the few times that I splurge on organic heavy cream from a local family dairy. I whip it with a bit of 2X vanilla and powdered sugar. Its not cheap but I do it a few times a year.

              I cannot eat the ultra-pasteurized stuff that is so prevalent, on a holiday like Thanksgiving.

              1. The real thing, with rum. You can make it ahead, too. I fill a pastry bag ahead of time with it and keep it chilled.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  Chowser,
                  Have you ever used a bit of unflavored gelatin to stabilize the finished cream? I did it once and didn't like the slight flavor and slimy mouth feel.

                  Thanks for your post about cheesecake technique yesterday evening. I will have to try that the next time I made a cheesecake.

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    I've read about it but never tried it. I make it a couple of hours in advance and have had the bottom become a little liquidy but when I scoop the top off and put it in a pastry bag, it's fine. Thanks for letting me know about the mouthfeel--I'd hate to add a step and have it taste funny.

                    A few years ago, I went into a cheesecake baking mode and made different cheesecakes, different techniques to find the one I like best. I think the best one was overnight at 200 degrees but rarely do that now. But, the other one tastes really creamy, too.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I did the gelatin thing for a whipped cream cake frosting and it had these little stringy gelatin things in it. There was no noticeable stabilization either. I may have done it completely wrong, or else it's a bad idea.

                2. I too like the real thing, and unless you are making enough for a restaurant, it doesn't take too long or use too many dishes. Also, I have used a stabilizer (Oetker Whip It) that keeps it from separating for hours so you can make it before dinner if that is easier for you. Neither I nor my guests noticed any difference in taste when using the stabilizer, just wonderful sweet whipped cream.

                  1. Real whipped cream (organic heavy cream, pasteurized but not ultrapasteurized), with a small amount of powdered sugar (dissolves better). I recently discovered I can whip cream with my immersion blender in a fraction of the time it takes with a mixer, and I can do it in the container it's going to be served in, which will save some dishes.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Ruth, Ive done it with the immersion blender and it works well. I have seen people do it in a food processor, but I'm too afraid of wasting $6.00 worth of organic heavy cream to try it myself.

                      I use about 1/2 C of powdered sugar and 1 Tsp of 2x vanilla, per pint.

                    2. We do the real whipped cream. And I have found that the kids enjoy making the whipped cream. We usually have dessert a few hours after dinner, so the kitchen is relatively put back together. When it is time for dessert, the kids get out the beaters and make the whipped cream while we get the coffee, etc.

                      1. Oh I do the real whipped cream I have to say it does taste better to me anyway.
                        The canned stuff isn't safe in my house, the boys stand at the refrigerator door and squirt it in their mouths,eeeeek!

                        1. I find it's rare that, when offered real whipped cream, people scoff and ask for Reddi-Whip. Usually, they're impressed that you made real whipped cream just for them. I would say, if you're up for making whipped cream (I add a tiny bit of powdered sugar to keep it from breaking apart but still keeping it on the not-sweet side), go for it! If buying Reddi-Whip means one less thing you need to do (and sometimes, just one little thing makes a difference), then don't feel guilty about it. To me, Reddi-Whip isn't so bad and tastes just fine - just don't get the low-fat one.

                          For future desserts, maybe put the ISI whipper on your Christmas list? That's how I got mine and now we can have fresh whipped cream for weeks!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: leanneabe

                            I like the real heavy whipped cream too. For occasions like this, I get the pasteurized but not homogenized heavy cream. I usually have to stir it to pour it out of the bottle because the fat rises and plugs the opening until stirred. It's wonderful, with just a little confectioners sugar (not too much so you can taste the cream) and some vanilla.

                            I have an Isi but haven't used it much yet. Can you really keep cream in it that long? Is is whipped in the canister or does it whip as you dispense it? Also, I was kind of surprised at how little whipped cream I got from it. I used it to top coffee with a bit of flavored cream at a dinner party and it didn't serve that many people. I have the smaller one, but thought that would be plenty big for that kind of use. Or for making whipped desserts for two or four. Am I doing something wrong? Or do I need the big one?

                          2. Personally, I love the Reddi Wip (I even love the spelling of it). It IS made with real cream, although the dread HFCS is in it too.

                            But I also love real whipped cream too. However, I like to make my whipped cream with superfine sugar instead of powdered sugar. Just a personal thing. Also, if you have enough snow on the ground where you are, take the bowl outside, set it in the snow and whisk. You'll be amazed how fast it turns into whipped cream.

                            Why not do both? That way all guests should be pleased. Except the CoolWhip faction, and that stuff is just not whipped cream in my book.

                            1. Thanks so much, everyone, for your incredibly helpful input. Between the suggestions to use rum (I'll actually do a bit of bourbon I think) and the immersion blender, I'm definitely doing the real thing.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: glorypea

                                I like the real thing the best - as others have said I use confectioner's sugar and actually prefer it w/almond extract instead of vanilla. My husband thinks Cool Whip is tops though!

                                1. re: glorypea

                                  I like my whipped cream spiked with brandy. Never tried it with bourbon, but that seems appropriate for Thanksgiving, somehow.

                                2. I personally like real whipped cream. Reddi-whip is acceptable at best, and Cool Whip is an abomination. However, I find that most people (who aren't foodies) are pretty satisfied with Redd-whip.

                                  1. I much prefer real whipped cream, although I know some in my family actually prefer the canned spray stuff (they are not chowhounds!) The spray would be my 2nd preference and as far as cool whip is concerned I really can't think of a nice way to share my feelings on that gunk. Though, again, I know some people that actually do like it.
                                    As seems evident so far, I have a feeling most people on Chowhound will be "voting" for real whipped cream, but I don't think we represent an accurate demographic.

                                    1. Whipped cream, whipped with brown sugar. I'd rather have nothing than pie with cool whip. And I have no animosity towards cool whip. If you want something easy, pick a nice vanilla ice cream.