I found out at the last minute I would be having some family come by for tea tomorrow, so I immediately panicked. I knew there was very little I could pull out and make at the last minute, and that my refrigerator had become stocked with restraurant take away cartons and beer bottles during my recent absence.
So I did what I do best......
I had flour, milk, butter, eggs, lemons, salt, some sugar and a small amount of cream.....
The ingredients kept going through my mind, until voila!
Lemon filled Cream Puffs!!!
So here is what you will need
|Lemon Curd Filling Ingredients|
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel - finely grated
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream (well chilled)
|Choux or "Puff" Pastry Ingredients|
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Step 1: To Make the Lemon Curd
Combine sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, eggs and salt in a heavy pan over medium-low heat. Whisk to blend,
Add butter and stir constantly until the curd mixture is hot and will nap the spoon. If you raen't sure what hap mean, see the photo. You can tell it is the right thickness when running your finger through the film on a spoon leaves a trail. This will take about 4-5 minutes
DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL
Once the curd naps your spoon, transfer the mixture into a separate bow an allow it to cool at least 5 minutes.
Step 2: Whipped Cream + Lemon Curd = Cream Filling
Gently fold the whipped cream into the curd mixture in 3 different rounds.
- Take 1/3 or about that, of the whip cream and fold it into the curd, then the next 1/3 and finish with the last of it. This way the whip cream will stand up to the curd and you will end up with a creamy light mixture.
This can be made up to 48 hours ahead of making the cream puff.
Step 3: To Make the PUFF Part of Cream Puff
I use this choux pastry recipe for a lot of different things, varying from pastry doughs to dropping in to make dumplings in savory dishes. It is a very versatile recipe and it's easy!
Preheat oven to 375º F
In a medium sized heavy pan, place milk, butter and salt. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat stirring constantly until butter melts.
Once the butter is melted, add ALL the flour at once, and stil with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to form balls and it begins to stick on the bottom of the pan. This takes about 4-5 minutes.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. If you do not allow it to cool your eggs will cook when added and not mix well into the dough.
Step 4: Finishing and Baking the Puff Pastry
Once the flour mixture has cooled, beat in the eggs + yolks, onc at a time either by hand or using an electric mixer.
Line two half sheet pans (or large rimmed cookie sheets) with either parchment paper or silpat.
Prepare a piping bag, or do like I do and make a large storage bag into a piping bag. Cut 1/4 angle from the corner of the storage bag, and push a decorator tip into the opening. Fill the bag with the dough. If you don't have decorating tips, you can just squeeze the dough from the bag.
Cook for a total of about 25 minutes. 10 minutes after placing in the oven, turn the baking sheets around so they heat is evenly distributed. The dough is cooked when it is browned over the top. The center of the pastry should be hollow when cut open, this is what allows these to be filled, in this case with a pastry cream, but let your imagination run wild with what ever you woud like to fill these up!
Immediately after cooking pierce each puff one, and return it to the sheet. Returns the puffs on the sheet to the oven and allow to "dry" for a minimum of 15 min.
Step 5: You Put the Cream in the Cream Puff, Then You Eat Em' All Up
Using light pressure, fill up each cream puff until the filling starts to come back out the opening your are filling from.
Store these in the refrigerator until ready to serve. And that's all there is to it.