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.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 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.