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Cream Puffs Recipe

These pastries are light, delicious and perfect for any special occasion!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: pastries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • tspn salt
  • cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 large eggs

CUSTARD FILLING:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

CREAM FILLING

  • 1 pint heavy or whipping cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  • Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan, heat until the butter has melted, and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously.
  • Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium heat, stirring all the while, until the mixture smooths out and follows the spoon around the pan; this should take less than a minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes. It'll still feel hot, but you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixer, and beat in the eggs one at a time; it may look curdled at first, but when you add the last egg it should become smooth. Beat for at least 2 minutes after adding the last egg.
  • Using a generously filled tablespoon cookie scoop, or a level muffin scoop, drop the thick batter onto the prepared baking sheets in to 3-tablespoon mounds. Space the mounds about 3" apart, to allow for expansion.
  • Bake the pastries for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until pastries are a medium golden brown. Don't open the oven door while the pastries are baking.
  • Remove the pastries from the oven. Make a small slit in the top of each, and return them to the oven for 5 minutes, to allow the steam to escape. Place them on a rack to cool. When they're cool enough to handle, split each in half to make top and bottom pieces; splitting and exposing the centers to air will help keep them from becoming soggy.

Custard Filling Instructions

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add the hot milk to the sugar mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens slightly, 7 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolks, then cook, stirring until slightly thicker, about 2 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the head and stir in the butter.
  • Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Add the vanilla, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, Pastry cream will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

Cream Filling Instructions

  • Pour the cream into a mixing bowl, and begin to whip it on high speed (using your mixer's whisk attachment, if you have one). Sprinkle in the sugar gradually as the cream whips. Whip until stiff, but be careful not to over-whip; cream should still look smooth. You'll want to keep your cream filling refrigerated until ready to use