Have you noticed that there are different types of cream at the grocery store? There are three types from which to choose:
*Pasteurized Heavy Cream – Offers a lush velvety texture and great flavor.
*Ultra-Pasteurized Heavy Cream – A super thick texture, lacks a bit in flavor.
*Ultra-Pasteurized Whipping Cream – Lighter, an airy texture, has more of a plain taste. This product has a very long shelf life of up to 60 days (if the container has not been opened.)
The distinction between these three choices are the fat content. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration dictates the percentage of fat content for these products. Heavy cream must have at least 36% fat while whipping cream must have at least 30% fat. The texture of the cream is dramatic after it is whipped and the 6% does make a difference.
If you are concerned about what’s actually in the ingredients besides dairy cream, note that ultra-pasteurized products also have added thickeners and stabilizers. Read the labels for specific details.
Which product is best and for what purpose?
If you want a lighter whipped cream for use on toppings on a dessert that you’ll be serving sooner than later, choose whipping cream.
Heavy cream can also be made into a whipped topping that will stand up and hold its shape longer. If you plan to serve a luxuriously thick cream for dishes such as soups or ice cream then choose heavy cream. You can also use heavy cream for thicker toppings, and pastry creams.
For a super luxuriously thick whipped cream topping with full dairy flavor, use the pasteurized heavy cream.
Be certain to check the expiration date on any dairy product you purchase to ensure you are obtaining the freshest available.
Making whipped cream is easiest by using a hand or stand mixer. After pouring the cream into a large chilled stainless or glass bowl, beat on medium-high until soft or stiff peaks develop (depending upon what recipe you are making). If you don’t have access to a mixer, whipping cream can be done by hand, using a whisk. It will take at least 5 minutes or more, so best accomplished by passing the bowl around to anyone who is in the kitchen.
And, don’t despair if you don’t have the specific kind of cream on hand. They are interchangeable, but these guidelines provided here will give you the best results.