feasting with friends

Elegant, Yet Easy Eclairs

Eclair with custard fillingHere goes my sweet tooth again! Is it the change of season? Maybe a nesting syndrome… getting ready for colder weather. Whatever it is, I can’t seem to control it lately. Dinner does not seem to be complete without a sweet ending. Ice cream and packaged cookies have been purchased and dug into lately. They’re okay, but I’d much prefer some homemade goodness. So much for the pounds and jiggly stomach I said good-bye to this summer…and hello to the temptress known as an eclair. I’ve made these delectable sweets for several years. They happen to be a favorite of Glenn and Travis. I really love them to, but really, if it contains sugar it’s at the top of my list:) Walking into a bakery and seeing an eclair, one would think they’re difficult to make. Breaking news…they’re not. All you need is a little time, very few ingredients and the ability to read instructions. No mixer is required. All three steps, pastry, filling and chocolate icing are prepared on the stove. Pastry are baked, cooled, filled, glazed and eaten. Simple. Eclairs are the perfect dessert for a dinner party or even a Monday night delivered pizza night. There is no wrong time for an eclair. Let me repeat, there is no wrong time for an eclair! The original recipe instructs to make full size eclairs, 10 of them. I prefer a smaller size. I make approximately 20 mini-size with this recipe. Reason? Less guilt while indulging. The smaller size is more than satisfying and then there are some to share!

Pastry:
1 stick butter [8 Tablespoons or 1/2 cup]
1 cup water
1 cup bread flour
4 eggs
•Preheat oven to 400°F.
•Combine water and butter in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low heat; add flour and stir vigorously until mixture pulls from side of pan and forms a smooth ball. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Eclair with custard filling  Eclair with custard filling
•Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition; beat until batter is smooth. The batter will separate after adding each egg. When stirred vigorously, it will come back together and appear smooth.
Eclair with custard filling
•Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet, shaping each eclair into a 3 1/2″x1″ rectangle.
Eclair with custard filling
•Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Cool on wire racks away from drafts.
Eclair with custard filling
Custard Filling Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoon all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk [I use 1%]
3 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•Combine dry ingredients in a heavy saucepan; gradually whisk in milk.
•Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. [this takes about 10 min, I find it doesn’t need to be stirred “constantly” until the milk is thoroughly heated, then keep at it]
Eclair with custard filling
•Beat egg yolks in a small bowl until thick and lemon colored.
Eclair with custard filling
•Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; combine with remaining hot mixture in the saucepan, stirring constantly.
Eclair with custard filling
•Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened, still stirring.
•Add butter and vanilla, blend well.
•Remove from heat, and let cool completely
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons butter
1 [1 ounce] square unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•Melt chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low hear, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
•Add sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk and vanilla; beat well. If too thick add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
 
Assembly:
•Spoon custard into a decorating bag with a No. 1 tip.
•Make a hole in one end of an eclair with the tip. Fill eclair; gently squeezing in custard to fill the length of the pastry. Fill each pastry.
Eclair with custard filling  Eclair with custard filling
•Top each filled eclair with chocolate glaze; either dipping in warm glaze or spooning on.
Eclair with custard filling  Eclair with custard filling  Eclair with custard filling
This recipe was adapted from Southern Living Five Star Dessert Cookbook, published 1990.
 
 

3 comments

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Eclair Torte: Fiesta Friday Anniversary Party Part 2 | feasting with friends

I'd love to have your input....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: