If you're serving a pie for dessert over the holidays, it's going to look naked without whipped cream. You could go the spray-can route, but for a better-tasting alternative, whip up your own. Here's how:
# Before you begin: Make sure the cream is very cold; if you have time, chill the whisk (or beaters) and bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will help the cream whip quickly and will increase its volume.
# Adding flavor: If you plan to use any flavorings, such as extracts, liqueurs or spices, add them with the sugar in Step 2 (below).
# A sweet substitution: You can replace granulated sugar with an equal measure of confectioners' sugar.
SWEETENED WHIP CREAM
Makes: 2 cups
1. In a deep mixing bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. If you use an electric mixer, beat on medium speed; do not overbeat (or the cream will turn buttery).
2. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over the cream. Beat until soft peaks return.
-- Adapted from the Holiday 2007 issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
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