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Best way to use quality Heavy Cream

I splurged at the farmers market (union square) and bought some pricey organic quality heavy cream from Milk Thistle Farms. I used it to make an extremely successful carbonara with some bacon I had from at trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns last weekend. But I really don't know what else to make with this nice heavy cream.

The woman at the Milk Thistle stand said it whips up like a dream so I suppose I will try that - but any other suggestions for recipes that really make the quality of the cream shine? Any good uses for heavy cream that I could make at home this week?

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  1. I'm thinking something in the blancmange department -- maybe not that exactly but something cold and not too sweet, that will enhance the cream's natural richness without overwhelming it with a million flavors, while letting it be the star of the show.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LauraGrace

      What you're thinking of is an Italian dessert called panna cotta (cooked cream). It's basically just good heavy cream cooked with sugar, gelatin, and vanilla bean, then chilled in a mold. It's absolutely heavenly and pretty easy to make. You can serve it alone or dress it up with a sauce - a red fruit coulis is traditional.

    2. Poured straight over lightly sugared sliced peaches or strawberries would be a simple treat.

        1. Ice cream, custard, creamed spinach, creamed onions.

          General instructions for Elizabeth David's Poulet a la creme at the top of this thread--


          For a really quick mousse mix a tablespoon each of good cocoa, sugar, and cognac or scotch, a cup of heavy cream, and whip in a nitrous oxide cream whipper (for the lightest result) or with a mixer or by hand with a whisk.

          Milk Thistle is pricey, but really excellent quality. Our toddler doesn't generally drink a lot of milk, but we got a half gallon of Milk Thistle whole milk ($7 + $1 bottle deposit), and he finished it within two days. It could get to be a very expensive habit.

          2 Replies
          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

            All great suggestions. Thanks.

            Yes, I love Milk Thistle milk - I do buy a quart of their skim or low fat milk every week - when you get in the routine of returning the bottles its not so bad.

            1. re: David A. Goldfarb

              concur with the ice cream recommendation.
              perfect for this time of year as many fruits are at the peak of their season now.
              you can make the other recommended dishes in the middle of winter with a new supply of cream

            2. I'd let it ferment and make a good creme fraiche. But I write this because I've been wanting to do just that. I just don't have the cream!

              1. i love to make a potato gratin with jalapeƱo jack and parmesan, butter, cream. heaven in a scoop!

                ps, carbonara has cream? not to my knowledge....

                8 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  ps, carbonara has cream? not to my knowledge.

                  a purist.... :-)

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Cream in carbonara? Abomination! Doesn't have it, doesn't need it. ;-)

                    1. re: BobB


                      I guess you missed the thread where I only make carbonara traditionally with eggs, cheese, white wine, pancetta and parsley.......and gave myself food poisoning

                      1. re: fourunder

                        I guess I did, and I'm sorry to hear it - I've had food poisoning and it's no fun at all. But how would adding cream have prevented that?

                        1. re: BobB

                          To clear up the confusion....

                          The OP uses cream for her Carbonara...... (alkapal) commented there was no cream in making Carbonara to her knowledge. I commented on (alkapal)'s comment and surmised she was a purist.

                          My explanation to you about a previous thread I participated in, included the list of the ingredients I ONLY use for my Carbonara recipe. I do not use cream when I make Carbonara myself.

                          Like (alkapal), I too am a purist.

                          Capisce :-)

                            1. re: BobB

                              Purist or expert I am not! I used a Jamie Oliver recipe that called from "double cream" but I went with this stuff instead. It was super delicious.

                      2. re: BobB

                        Abomination? One thing I learned in Italy is that there is no one "right" way to cook pasta. Many of the great pasta dishes are improvisations based on available ingredients. Spaghetti alla carbonara is no exception. I have had it with a little cream added--in France it often has cream added. It actually tastes rather good. But then you can extend the whole range of what goes into pasta--adding even onions or mushrooms. Of course, then, you wouldn't call it "alla carbonara." Vincenzo Buonassisi's great work on pasta is full of transmutations and transformations like that. But I shouldn't push the case too much. Much of what passes for marinara sauce is for me "an abomination." By the way, I'm told that the original carbonara doesn't even use pancetta. It uses guanciale. Good luck if you can get it! And hold the cream for dessert. Sliced orchard ripe peaches, with mascarpone thinned with a bit of heavy cream and a bit of Frambois will do nicely.

                      1. Three memorable dishes I have over the years are;

                        Melange of Seafoods....lobster, shrimp, scallops, assorted fish fillets and etc, in a cream reduction sauce. Once with tomato base....and another Cajun inspired. Last was a crawfish pasta dish inspired by LeRuth's. Crawfish, fettuccine, cream, tomatoes, scallions, herbs, garlic and a little spicy. All great stuff.

                        If you don't like those ideas......there's always bisques or soups......Vichyssoise could be perfect for this time of year.

                        1. You can use it with your Coffee!

                          If you have a an Ice Cream Maker, make some fun flavor.

                          1. Definitely make some ice cream--the simpler flavor the more the cream will shine through--simple vanilla. Also, creme fraiche towards the end of its useful life will make it last a few more days.

                            Lastly, carbonara really doesn't need cream in it--the eggs create the perfect "creamy" texture. I will say that a little cream added to the eggs can help keep them from over cooking.

                            1. Just out of curiousity, is it unhomogenized?

                              One thing you can do with a fruit cobbler is pour just a bit over or on it, even unwhipped.
                              Especially good if the cobbler is still warm.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: karykat

                                The whole milk from this farm is non-homogenized, but I don't know if that is the same for the heavy cream.

                                I have plans to make a plum torte tonight and will definite be whipping some of the cream!

                                1. re: irisfive

                                  If it's nonhomogenized, you'll know right away.

                                  Hope it's fabulous with your torte.

                                2. this is probably an oddly contrarian view, but to my taste ultra rich cream is just too much for homemade ice cream. the weight of the cream seems to take away the refreshing quality of the dessert. if your cream is as rich as i imagine it to be, i'd prefer it as an accent to other dishes rather than as the center piece of a dish--a dollop whipped, a bit of creme fraiche...

                                  1. If it's not ultra pasteurized Alfredo!