A light and easy pastry dough perfect for making traditional éclairs and cream puffs.
1Call purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1Cwhole milkI used 2%
2large egg yolks
Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip or plan to just snip off the end, a large plastic bag may also be used.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When mixture begins to boil, remove from heat. Sift in flour. Return to heat and stir until dough mixture pulls away from the sides of your pan.
Transfer dough to a medium bowl or stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix for several minutes to cool slightly. Mixing on low, add one egg. Mix until dough pulls apart and resembles mashed potatoes. Continue this method until all 4 eggs have been mixed in.
Transfer dough to your pastry bag or large plastic bag. For cream puffs, pipe mounds roughly 1" around. For éclairs, pipe strips 1"x4". To remove peaks, dip your finger in water then gently tap on dough.
In a small bowl, beat one egg with a pinch of salt. Brush egg wash over piped dough.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Vanilla pastry cream:
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 of milk. Beat 1 whole egg into milk mixture, followed by 1 egg yolk at a time.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring remaining 3/4 milk and sugar to a boil. Whisk constantly. When mixture begins to boil, while whisking constantly, slowly add 1/3 of the milk mixture into your egg mixture. This will help temper the eggs so they don't scramble when you add them to the hot milk. Returning the saucepan to medium/low heat, begin slowly pouring egg mixture into saucepan, stirring constantly.
Whisk until mixture begins to boil and thicken. Remove from heat, add in butter and vanilla.
Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to pastry cream so to avoid forming a crust. Chill until ready to use.
In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Begin on low speed to avoid splatter, gradually increase speed until you are beating on high. Mix until thick. Cover and transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.
Using a serrated knife, slice off the top 1/3. Using a pastry bag, plastic bag or spoon, fill cavity of cream puff with whipped cream (or other desired filling). Add chopped strawberries, replace top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Add pastry cream to a piping bag fit with a long tip. Carefully pierce the end of your éclair with piping tip, fill with pastry cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.