> Recipes > Éclair

Éclairs

by Nancy Anne Harbord
Éclair

Éclairs

  • Snack
  • easy
  • makes 8
  • 1 hour 5 minutes, plus 45 minutes drying time

PT1H5M

PT45M

Why not try?

I have three flavours to get you started. Try the Raspberry and rose éclairs for something pink and fruity, with a delicate touch of rose. Or the zingy Gin, citrus and pink peppercorn éclairs that couple the botanical notes of dry gin with red grapefruit, orange and lemon zests and floral pink peppercorns. For something even more decadent and luxurious, the Salted caramel and lemon thyme éclairs showcase the rich, lightly bitter notes of caramelised sugar, balanced with flaky sea salt and flecks of bright lemon thyme.

Or make up your own combinations! Choux pastry couldn’t really be more flexible when it comes to added flavours, and éclairs are the perfect vehicle for an array of pastry creams, icings and glazes. You are only limited by your imagination…

All the accompanying pastry cream recipes yield enough filling for around six éclairs, but I have made this choux pastry recipe a little more generous to allow for mishaps. Leftovers can be filled with all manner of tasty treats – even savoury. I popped a lovely bit of pecorino in my spare éclairs and they were delicious!

Choux pastry shells can be made ahead and frozen – just be sure to wrap well. To defrost for use, re-crisp in a 150°C oven for about 10 minutes.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8
2
Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Measure the flour so you have it on hand when you need it
3
In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally
4
When the liquid is boiling, remove from the heat and tip in the flour. Stir until combined, then return to the heat, stirring constantly, until the dough is slightly shiny
5
Add the dough to a food processor or stand mixer and mix for a few seconds to bring down the temperature. With the machine still on, add the eggs a little at a time until they have all been absorbed and the dough is smooth and sticky. Scrape the dough into a disposable piping bag and twist the open plastic end to close
6
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Cut a 2cm wide piece off the piping end of the bag
image
7
Pipe eight 2.5cm x 10cm strips (the dough will pipe a little wider than the cut end) onto the baking paper, leaving a gap of at least 3cm between each éclair. You may need more than one baking sheet
8
Put the éclairs in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 190°C/gas mark 5 and continue to bake until they are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes more. To check if they are done, press one of the éclairs – it shouldn’t be squishy, rather firm to the touch
9
Remove the éclairs from the oven and use a sharp knife to poke a hole in the side of each tube – this is to allow the steam to escape
10
Turn off the oven and return the éclairs to the cooling oven. Prop the door open with a wooden spoon or similar tool and leave the shells to dry out – about 45 minutes. They should be very slightly moist when they are ready, but not at all soft. Cool completely on a cake rack
 

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