In a sensational bit of "reporting," Slate has declared that "America Is Facing a Whipped Cream Shortage." Look, I know 2016 has been rough, but trust me: There is no Whippocalypse or Creamageddon in sight. The non-news at the heart of this story is that some hiccup has disrupted the supply of nitrous oxide to manufacturers, which may potentially limit supplies of aerosolized toppings like Reddi Wip. To be clear: American supermarkets have more than enough whipping cream to meet the holiday demand.
Take heart, for everything is just as Devo foretold: "When a problem comes along, you must whip it." With a pint of fresh cream and those simple words, you can whip it, into shape, all on your own. Here are eight DIY versions to refute the sense of terror inspired by Slate's article—and celebrate the fact that homemade whipped cream is here to stay.
Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Whether it's dolloped over a slice of Silky Sweet Potato Pie or spooned into your Irish coffee, this brown sugar whipped cream is both homey and elegant, with vanilla beans in place of extract to improve its stability in the fridge.
I prefer this recipe with light brown sugar, because its mellow molasses flavor won't overpower the nuance of any given dessert, but there's no harm in using dark brown sugar instead. You can also reach for raw cane sugar for a similar but far milder effect. Alternatively, if you'd like to try a subtle caramel twist, this recipe works equally well with slow-roasted or quick-toasted sugar.
Raspberry Whipped Cream
Fresh raspberries may not be at their best right now, but with a handful of the freeze-dried variety, you can make a whipped cream that's bursting with fresh fruit flavor and all-natural color.
Just grind the berries and sugar together until powdery and fine, add fresh cream, and pulse until silky and thick.
Try it in place of frosting on a batch of chocolate cupcakes, or as a stand-in for meringue on my Chocolate Cream Pie.
Cajeta Whipped Cream
If you like the rich and butterscotch-y flavors of dulce de leche, you'll love my homemade cajeta, which is the exact same thing but made from goat's milk. And whenever fresh cajeta is in the house, I set aside a few ounces to make cajeta whipped cream.
Blueberry Whipped Cream
You can also make my Super-Thick and Fruity Whipped Cream with freeze-dried blueberries, which add a particularly vibrant color.
It offers great contrast to the white appearance of so many vanilla-centric desserts (think Angel Food Cake), but hey, I've been known to eat it straight from the bowl, as if it were an eggless ice cream.
Lemon and Orange Whipped Cream
When you're juicing a million lemons for a citrusy dessert, like my Sunny Lemon Bars, be sure to save the leftover rinds to make a fresh, no-cook lemon syrup. It's tasty on its own, but even better whipped into an aromatic Lemon Chantilly.
Or, if you've plowed through a million oranges instead to make fresh-squeezed juice, use those rinds to make an orange syrup and chantilly instead. The mellow flavor will be just as welcome at the breakfast table, especially over Brown-Butter Yeast-Raised Waffles.
Banana Whipped Cream
The trick is to pulse this whipped cream a liiiiiittle longer than usual so it has a denser, silkier texture than classic whipped cream. This takes just a few extra seconds, so please don't process the cream as long as you would for homemade butter (which will never materialize anyway in this case, due to the addition of sugar and freeze-dried fruit).
DIY Cool Whip
Hands down, one of my favorite recipes. This freezer-safe whipped cream is stabilized with gelatin, which means you can pop a batch of homemade Cool Whip in the freezer and it will be ready and waiting when you remember it a few months down the road. The only risk is freezer burn, which you can avoid by pressing a sheet of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the cream before closing the lid of your container.
You can thaw DIY Cool Whip overnight in the fridge, where it will keep for up to a week, or at room temperature. That makes it great for transporting over long distances, so you can drive to Grandma's house with a batch in tow and no fear of it breaking down along the way.
Cherry Pit Whipped Cream
Okay, by now you're familiar with my MO regarding freeze-dried fruit and whipped cream. But when it comes to fresh cherries, there's another option: cherry pit whipped cream.
This version has an airier texture and subtler flavor than food processor whipped creams, so it seems especially light. It's made by steeping fresh cream with cherry pits in the refrigerator for a few hours, then whipping it up with a bit of sugar and salt. This is my go-to whenever I'm making a dessert with fresh cherries, since it lets me make use of the entire fruit. I even make a habit of freezing my surplus pits so I can make this tasty whipped cream all year round—it's particularly nice spooned into mugs of hot cocoa.
So remember: There's no chantilly shortage, because whipped cream isn't just some commodity. It's a state of mind—one that's accessible to anyone who believes that when a good time turns around, you must whip it.