FRESH BERRIES WITH MINT & VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM is excerpted from A COUPLE COOKS - PRETTY SIMPLE COOKING: 100 DELICIOUS VEGETARIAN RECIPES TO MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH REAL FOOD © 2018 by Sonja and Alex Overhiser. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fresh Berries with Mint & Vanilla Whipped Cream (GF, V*)
In Indiana summers, our farmers’ markets burst with jewel-toned strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. To us, topping them with lightly sweet homemade whipped cream and fresh mint rivals the world’s most elaborate dessert. Alex and I typically whip cream by hand—because in a world where everything is prepackaged and mechanized, we find it personally satisfying to earn our dessert with nothing but a whisk, a bowl, and a carton of cream. Along with mint, we’ve added a sprinkle of ground cardamom for a hint of exotic fragrance. It’s so quick to put together, it’s worth having whipping cream or coconut milk on hand in case of a lucky summer farmers’ market find.
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup (or confectioners’ sugar), divided
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 pint fresh seasonal berries of any type
- ¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Ground cardamom, for garnish
Whip the cream: In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and vanilla extract. With a large whisk, whip the cream vigorously until it thickens and peaks start to form, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk to your desired thickness, soft or stiff peaks, taking care not to overwhip or it will turn into butter. It helps to place the bowl in the sink to whip the cream so that it is a bit lower than counter height.
Prepare the berries: Finely chop the mint. In a bowl, toss the berries with the mint, ½ teaspoon maple syrup, and the balsamic vinegar.
To serve, place the berries in small bowls, then top with whipped cream and a pinch of ground cardamom.
Storage: Extra whipped cream stores for 1 day refrigerated in an airtight container.
For coconut whipped cream: Refrigerate one 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk overnight. When ready to prepare, open the coconut milk and remove the hardened coconut cream on top, taking care to avoid the liquid in the bottom of the can. Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer or a bowl, then discard the remaining liquid or save it for another recipe. Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, blend on high for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.
V* For vegan, top with coconut whipped cream.