A good eclair recipe is essential. Éclairs and cream puffs are a delicious pastry with a combination of compatible flavors - the pastry shell(pâté à choux), the filling (cornstarch crème), and the topping (chocolate frosting).
Eclairs are a long-time favorite (and weakness) of mine, and I still consider my mothers eclair recipe the best I have come across. Make petite ones for your tea parties or large ones for after dinner.
While, these wonderful sweets take a little time to make, they are well worth the effort. Allow about two hours.
"An eclair is
©Tea Party Circle
Fay's Éclair Recipe - 3 parts
1. Eclair Pastry
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
Combine water, milk and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the flour while continuing to cook another 1 or 2 minutes.
Turn into a bowl and cool for 5 minutes, stirring twice.
Beat in eggs, one at time, until paste is smooth and shiny, set aside to cool.
*Paste may be made a few hours in advance - simply cover and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
On a baking sheet, pipe (or form with a spoon) logs out of the paste. They can be made into any size.
Bake for 10 minutes , then reduce heat to 350ºF (180º C) until golden brown in color- about 5 to 10 minutes more , depending on the size of the logs.
Poke a hole, with a straw or the end of a spoon, in an end of the éclair and place back in oven for another 1-3 minutes. Remove éclairs from the oven and let cool a few minutes.
*The cooling of the éclairs is the tricky part. Sometimes they have a tendency to collapse. This is why it's important to allow them to cool slowly.
2. Cornstarch crème filling
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons corn starch
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 2 /3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, flour, corn starch, and egg yolks in a bowl. Beat with electric mixer for two minutes until thickened.
In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Gradually pour the milk into the egg mixture, stirring continuously. When mixed well, pour into the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Boil for one to two minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.
Cover with wax or parchment paper and place in refrigerator until ready to fill the pastry shells.
*Cornstarch may be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
3. Chocolate Frosting / Ganache
Make your homemade frosting , ganache - or do as I do when I'm making these, use store bought ( I figure two out of three isn't bad!) : )
Assembling the Eclairs
When pastry shells are completely cooled, fill the with the cornstarch creme. Do this by piping it into the end by the 'cooling hole' or by splitting them in half and fill the bottom part ( frost the tops before you put them on, or they will tend to slide around).
Finish by frosting generously with the chocolate frosting or dip in ganache.
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