Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream

The first strawberries of the season have popped up in farm stands and local stores and of course I couldn't resist getting some! They aren't as plump, sweet, and juicy now as they will be in a month or so but I just can't wait that long for such a yummy taste of summer! Because they were still a bit sour....ok, a LOT sour......I had to find a way to perk them up a bit without making them taste like candy. I had a few vanilla beans hiding in the pantry so I decided to make good use of them. A little true vanilla flavor will perk up damn near anything.

Here's what you need:

1 half pint of whipping cream, heavy or not...either is fine
1 whole vanilla bean
1 tablespoon or more to taste of sugar

Pour your whipping cream into a large mixing bowl or the bowl that you use with your stand mixer. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out every bit of the seeds in the middle and throw them all into the cream. Start whipping, when it starts to get more voluminous and stiff go ahead and throw in your sugar and continue beating until it's the consistency that you like. I like mine fairly stiff........just don't keep whipping until you turn it into an odd vanilla butter! If you have a stand mixer just put it on medium, don't put it on high!

Spoon over your strawberry shortcake, blueberry cobbler, apple pie.....or just enjoy a spoon full of it plain! I also like to put any leftover in a little container and use it in my coffee the next morning, sinful I know, but oh so tasty!


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