Cream Puffs have been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. From Grammy Grace's cream puff recipe, to the giant cream puffs at Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant (one of my favorite restaurants ever!), I don't know of anyone in my family who would turn down a cream puff! In fact, when we make trips home to Columbus, if we don't eat at Schmidt's someone at least makes a trip to get Cream Puffs.
I was in the mood to make something a little different the other day, and turned to Tastespotting to get some ideas. Somehow I ended up drooling over cream puffs- so I decided that's what I would make. My previous attempts at cream puffs always turned out ok- the pastry was fine, but I never made a custard filling (I know..lazy foodie!) I always resorted to whipped cream or ice cream. This time I decided I wanted to go all out and make a custard too. I found my recipes through La Fuji Mama's blog- she provided the pastry recipe, and linked to Tartelette for a yummy Custard recipe. I suggest you check out La Fuji Mama's blog for a great step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make the pastry..it is far more simple than I ever would have imagined pastry to be. I can't wait to see what else I can use this recipe for!
I was surprised at how easy both parts of this recipe are...and they turned out some gorgeous and very tasty giant cream puffs! I'll definitely be making these again in the future...you should too!
Printable Recipe: Cream Puffs
Pastry from La Fuji Mama
Will make 6 giant, 10 large, 20 medium, or 4 dozen mini cream puffs..whatever you desire!
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Boil water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When water is at a rolling boil, drop the stick of butter into the pan. Allow the butter to melt. When the butter is completely melted, dump all of the flour into the pan at once, and stir well. Continue to stir, still over the heat, until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the side of the saucepan.
Remove from heat, and let cool for a minute or so. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Continue stirring until dough is nice and smooth.
Drop balls of dough (whatever size you prefer) with a spoon onto parchment paper. For giant or large puffs, bake for 30 minutes or until they are a gorgeous golden brown, and nice and puffy. Reduce baking time for smaller puffs- 22-25 minutes for medium, 17-20 for small/mini. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. I poke a hole into the top of each puff with a toothpick to let some of the steam escape, and to prevent the puffs from collapsing. This recipe doesn't say to do that, but I did anyways.
While the puffs are in the oven, whip up your custard!
Vanilla Custard from Tartelette
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream *
1/2 cup milk *
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups half and half. I didn't have half and half in my fridge, so I tried this combination and it worked well.
Whisk together cornstarch, sugar and egg yolks in a small bowl. Combine milk and cream in a measuring cup, and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the milk/cream mixture to the egg/cornstarch mixture, and mix until smooth. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining milk/cream over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat, and pour slowly into the egg/cornstarch mixture, whisking while pouring, to temper the eggs. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, and whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens. When the mixture has formed a nice custard (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Refrigerate for 30 minutes - an hour to thicken even more before filling cream puffs.
Assemble your cream puffs.
You can do one of two things here...you could put the custard in a pastry bag fitted with a filling tip, poke a hole in your puffs, and fill. If you're like me, you'll slice off the top of the puff, put a generous helping of custard on top of the bottom half, top with the remaining slice of puff, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
The addition of the powdered sugar made these taste dangerously close to the cream puffs I remember from Schmidt's...I'll have to restrain myself from making these every day!!
|Everything is better with a drizzle of homemade Caramel!|
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!