Earl Grey Whipped Cream
I didn’t fall in love with tea until I was 19. Strictly a coffee girl, I saw a divide between my “sophisticated” latte and the dark leaf water. And since Alaska is coffee-obsessed as well, I never had tea foisted on me in the cultural sense.
But then, I went to Ireland. And I made a few friends. And I got invited to a lot of house parties. During these parties, cup after cup of Earl Grey was placed in my hands, and I felt that it would be rude to say no. So I drank it, two, three, four cups a day until it became a normal part of every meal. I didn’t really notice my enjoyment of the drink until I returned to the U.S. and began to crave it all the time.
Now I drink Earl Grey on rainy days, stressful days, or during particularly chilly weather. And each time, it tastes like Ireland.
That’s the power of memory.
But you know how to make a cup of tea. The instructions are on the packet, for God’s sake. I’m not here to teach you how to steep the bags. Instead, I can show you how I’ve gotten creative with my favorite black tea and turned it into a whipped cream flavor. I got the idea after steeping vanilla tea packets in cream for a creme brulee recipe last year, and have made it a few times since then.
What I like about this recipe is that it lends the essence of the tea to the whipped cream without drastically changing the flavor. You smell it, and it lingers on your tongue, but it doesn’t come on too strong. Ergo, you can still add it to hot chocolate or ice cream (especially vanilla) and it complements the dish rather than overpowering it.
Here’s how you make it.
2 Cups Heavy Cream
4 Earl Grey Tea Bags
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar (double to sweeten further)
On medium-low heat, warm cream in a medium saucepan. Don’t boil or overheat it, just let it get warm to the touch. Add the packets and steep 7-10 minutes. Stir frequency, or else a skin will form on top. Remove packets, squeezing out liquid from each before discarding.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover and place in fridge for at least 4 hours. Pour cream into bowl of standing mixer, add sugar and vanilla (double the sugar if you like it sweeter), and beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
Keep in fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Although there are some obvious pairings to this whipped cream recipe, such as vanilla ice cream, I can vouch for the fact that it’s also delicious with coconut flavors and fruit pies. Its subtlety allows it to work with a lot of different sweets, and even some savory dishes.
This post is rather timely for me, since I’ve spent the last several days sucking down Earl Grey by the cupful. It’s raining off and on here, my favorite weather, and the ground is yellow and marshy with bursts of brilliant green. Spring is beautiful everywhere, but I feel extra lucky to live at the edge of the woods right now. Watching the trees change colors and begin to sprout flowers is a privilege that I absolutely take advantage of.
If there’s one piece of advice I can give, it’s to get outside. Even if it’s wet, or chilly, or muddy. Just get out and see something beautiful.
Until next time, love your leaf water.