A couple of weeks ago, I made a chocolate pie for company. I wanted to include a whipped cream border that I could apply before my guests arrived and would hold until I was ready to serve my pie. I knew better. I really did. I knew that piped whipped cream would be all weepy and deflated by the time I went to cut that pie. And it did. It looked horrible.
But I knew there had to be a way. I mean, really, look at all those diners that have pies with beautiful whipped edges. Therefore, when I was taking a pie to another dinner last Saturday, I was determined to figure it out. Enter stabilized whipped cream, the answer to all my prayers.
By the way it is made, stabilized whipped cream is sort of like a mousse. You whip the cream and add gelatin for stability. It then holds its shape beautifully in the refrigerator for hours and hours (even days!). While the end texture is not quite the same as freshly whipped cream, it is still delicious and its beauty and convenience make it a winning choice!
Stabilized Whipped Cream
Yield: approx. 2 cups
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
4 tsp cool water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Mix the gelatin and water in a small microwave safe bowl. When the gelatin is soft, after a few minutes, place the bowl in the microwave and heat gently at ten second intervals until the mixture is melted and warm, but not hot. Mix the cold whipping cream and powdered sugar together in a glass or metal bowl. Mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, then increase to high speed.
When the cream reaches soft peaks, slowly add half the gelatin mixture (you will discard the remainder). Continue whipping until stiff peaks develop. Pipe onto your dessert and keep refrigerated until serving. If you want to make a double batch, double the cream and sugar, but simply use all the gelatin mixture.
NOTE: I mix twice the gelatin mixture needed for the single batch because it is easier to measure and because with such a small amount, so much ends up sticking to the inside of the bowl. Feel free to add any additional flavorings to your whipped cream as usual, such as vanilla, chocolate, lemon or lime zest, etc.