I developed this low-maintenance recipe in my restaurant days, when I needed a big batch of whipped cream to last through the night in a steamy kitchen. The trick is a bit of extra sugar, which helps the cream whip into a stable foam that can be held for up to eight hours. With a hearty pinch of salt, it’s not too sweet, making it the ideal accompaniment for everything from strawberry shortcake to butternut pumpkin pie.
- Combine sugar, salt, cream, and vanilla extract, if using, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. If using a vanilla bean, run the flat of the blade down each half to scrape out the seeds and add them to the cream (reserve the pod for another project). Mix on medium-low speed to dissolve the sugar, about a minute, then increase to medium-high and whip until cream is thick enough to hold firm peaks, about 3 minutes.
- Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 8 hours.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week; before serving, briefly rewhip the cream to restore its light and silky texture.