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Pumpkin Pie Eclairs

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Éclairs are a great classical and traditional (not to mention delicious) dessert. Since fall is already here and Thanksgiving is coming up, I decided to jazz up the classic éclair with some fun fall flavors. I got a fantastic pate a choux recipe (the dough for the eclairs) and to put a twist on things, I added some delicious pumpkin pie. Pumpkin Pie Eclairs are the perfect light dessert after your Thanksgiving meal.

I have 2 patches I'm going to give away to the first 2 people who make these eclairs and post some delicious pictures.

Get Baking! :)

Thank you to all of you who voted for this instructable in the CHOW Thanksgiving Recipes Contest! :) All of you helped me win the grand prize, a fantastic Thermapen thermometer. Thanks again!
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

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To make these yummy eclairs, you will need:
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 eggs
It's easier to make these if you have all these ingredients pre-measured and prepared.

The above ingredients are just for the pate a choux dough which is the actual dough that makes the eclairs. Pate a choux is the name for any precooked dough that expands when you bake it to make a special hollow shell you can fill.

Eclairs are always filled with pastry cream but since today is Thanksgiving, I decided to add some pumpkin pie to the filling. The ingredients for the pastry cream are here but the instructions to make it is in my Simple "Any Kind of Dessert Pastry Cream" instructable.

For the pumpkin pastry cream, you'll need:
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • a slice of pumpkin pie
I recommend using a egg wash before baking.
For an egg wash, you'll need:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
Eclairs also have a signature chocolate coating on the top. I made a simple ganache with chocolate and heavy cream.
  • 4 tablespoons of chocolate (pick any kind, this is to your taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
It sure seems like a lot doesn't it but it really isn't. Once you make it once, you'll realize how simple these desserts are. No doubt your friends and family will be impressed. The first time I made it, I heard, "How did you get the cream in there?" and "How did you make it hollow, did you cut it?" They will definitely be impressed :)


Step 2: Heating It Up

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium to high heat. Stir the mixture continuously to keep it from burning.

Step 3: Making the Dough

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Once it boils, quickly remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the cup of flour and stir until a dough forms. Return the pan to medium heat for 3 minutes while stirring constantly. Make sure the mixture doesn't burn.

Step 4: Adding the Eggs

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Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Be careful since the mixture is still hot. Beat for 30 seconds on medium speed. Then add in 1 egg at a time until all 3 eggs are used. Beat until smooth after adding each egg.

Step 5: Making the Egg Wash

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Making the egg wash is a pretty important step. The egg wash will affect the flavor and color of the eclairs. In a separate bowl, combine 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat with a fork until smooth. You will need a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to spread it on the eclairs after they are piped.

Step 6: Piping the Eclairs

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Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Use either a plastic bag or a decorating bag to pipe the eclairs. Make sure the tip is big enough to make about a 1/2 inch wide eclair. You don't want combine two lines of dough together (I learned that from experience). Fill the bag with the eclair dough and pipe onto the baking sheet. The eclairs should have enough room to expand if you place them about 2 inches apart. My eclairs were about 1/2 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long.

Step 7: Baking the Eclairs

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Use the pastry brush or spoon and brush the egg wash over the eclairs. Don't worry if you have leftover egg wash. After your done preparing the eclairs, put them in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Do not open your oven while the eclairs are baking. This might cause the eclairs to not rise. You can sneak a peek near the end of the baking time. You will know when the eclairs are done when the eclairs are golden brown and appear dry.

Step 8: Decorating, Piping, and Finish

The pastry cream I used for these eclairs can be found here. After making the pastry cream, I took out the filling of the pumpkin pie and mixed it with the pastry cream.

First I used a stick to poke a hole into the end of the baked eclair. Then I filled a plastic bag with the pumpkin cream and piped the filling into the hollow center.

Afterward, I made a very simple ganache with the chocolate and heavy cream. Combine the two and heat it up on either the stove top (or 30 seconds in the microwave). Dip the piped eclair in the chocolate and you're done!

Pumpkin pie eclairs are very easy to make and fun to eat. People will wonder how you got your delicious homemade pastry cream into the hollow eclair. It is a great dessert to end off a filling Thanksgiving meal.


Ilma Nizam2 years ago
It looks NICE... I tried it, but it didn't come out well :(
what you think would have gone wrong? ;)
jen7714 (author)  Ilma Nizam2 years ago
How did it come out?

It could be the oven temperature or the oven environment (too humid or too dry).

Did the dough match the dough in the pictures or was the final product off?
wow....never eaten pumpkin pie but that choux pastry is really perfect.......i stink at choux pastry! LOL
jen7714 (author)  AussieAnglerGal2 years ago
Thank you so much!
Spritie3 years ago
Is it possible to adapt this to use fresh pumpkin? If so, how?
jen7714 (author)  Spritie3 years ago
Well, you can make pumpkin puree out of the fresh pumpkin. Add some cinnamon and honey and puree in the blender. It's essentially the filling of a pumpkin pie.
jlloyd43 years ago
A couple quick question: I'm making these for Christmas breakfast. I have so much baking to do on Christmas Eve I'm thinking of making the shells and cream on the 23rd, and then putting them together the night of the 24th. Do you recommend storing the shells and cream any particular way? Should I wait till Christmas morning to put them together or will they hold up well over night?

They look so yummy. I'm looking forward to making them. Thanks for sharing!
jen7714 (author)  jlloyd43 years ago
I definitely recommend storing the shells in a dry airtight container. The cream should be stored in the fridge. And since it will only be a couple of days, it should be fine :)

The eclairs will probably be okay overnight as well :)

Thanks for the nice comment! I hope you post some pictures so I can see how they turned out :)
jlloyd4 jen77143 years ago
Thanks for getting back so fast! I'll try to remember to take pictures. I always seem to forget to when I start something for an instructable.
YoshiB4 years ago
Question: to make a normal eclair, do you just leave out the pumpkin?
great instructable. i am going to make these on my day off school
ta ta
jen7714 (author)  YoshiB4 years ago
Yes pretty much! People do have different ways to make the pastry cream but everyone uses a pate a choux recipe for the dough. And thank you! I hope you post some pictures!
YoshiB jen77144 years ago
Well i made them but they got eaten too quickly to take a picture! thanks for the help,
tata
theabion4 years ago
Congratulations on your win as well! These look delicious, and are definitely worth a try one of these days.
jen7714 (author)  theabion4 years ago
Thank you! And when you do, let me know. I would love to hear if you enjoyed them. :)
dblumenthal4 years ago
My congregation had a "I can't believe he made it all by himself" contest for our Channukah party tonight, in which all the men had to bring homemade desserts with no help from any women. I made these eclairs (with the pumpkin spice flavor) and won the prestigious "most likely to have ripped off the recipe and claimed it as his own" ribbon. Couldn't have done it without you!
jen7714 (author)  dblumenthal4 years ago
Awww thank you! And thanks for sharing your wonderful story. It definitely made me laugh ("most likely to have ripped off the recipe and claimed it as his own"? :) I'm glad that you were able to make it. All good reviews I hope? (And nice thinking on the pumpkin pie spice!)
ChrysN4 years ago
Yummy!
jen7714 (author)  ChrysN4 years ago
They were definitely yummy! We served it after Thanksgiving dinner and it got all compliments :)
scoochmaroo4 years ago
Epic.
jen7714 (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Thanks :)