Raspberry and rose éclairs

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This lovely, delicate éclair recipe uses tart, fruity raspberries – both puréed and fresh – together with the fragrant, floral flavours of rose. The pastry cream filling is light and silky with plenty of flavour, and the glaze is glossy and with a delicious tang.

First published in 2015
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This beautiful pink éclair recipe couples fresh raspberries with both a pastry cream and glaze flavoured with raspberry purée. A hint of rose is present in both the rosewater in the pastry cream and the dried rose petals sprinkled on top.

Raspberries and rose share volatile flavour compounds in common – so they are an excellent flavour match. If you happen to have some violet essence on hand, you can exchange that for the rosewater, and the rose petals for crystallised violets. Violets and berries also go together fantastically.

This recipe calls for a batch of six choux éclair shells. Please see the accompanying choux pastry recipe for éclairs for full instructions on how to make the dough.

The pastry cream needs to be made at least four hours ahead (even better overnight) of when you want to eat the éclairs, so bear this in mind when planning how you make the recipe.

Although they are listed separately, both the glaze and the pastry cream call for fresh raspberry purée, so feel free to make both purées at the same time – I have given the weights of the purée to be added in the directions of each recipe.




Raspberry and rose pastry cream

Raspberry glaze

To serve


For the raspberry and rose pastry cream, add the raspberries and 1 tsp sugar to a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the fruit is completely broken down and has released all of its juices – you can crush the fruit a little with a spoon to help this along. Boil for about 5 minutes more until the liquid has thickened
Pass the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl, pressing down against the seeds with a spatula to make sure as much raspberry liquid as possible makes it through the sieve. Be sure to scrape all of the purée from the underside of the sieve too – that’s where most of it will be stuck! Set aside to cool slightly. You should have 60g of purée
Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar to a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk, cream, the rest of the sugar and a tiny pinch of salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally to stop the dairy scorching on the bottom and to help the sugar melt
While the milk mixture is heating, add the yolks to the reserved sugar and whisk until the mixture looks creamy. Add the cornflour and whisk to completely combine
Measure the cold butter and cut into medium pieces. Reserve in the fridge until needed. It’s important that the butter is cold for this recipe – if it’s too warm and soft, the butterfat will separate when it hits the pastry cream and you will be left with oily puddles in your cream
When the milk mixture has reached a simmer, remove from the heat and whisk it into the yolks, a little at a time to stop the yolks scrambling, then return the whole mixture to the saucepan
Heat the mixture over a medium heat, scraping the bottom with a spatula to stop it cooking unevenly, until the pastry cream has thickened and is just starting to bubble – this should take less than a minute
Turn off the heat and whisk in the cold butter until melted and fully incorporated
Stir the cooled raspberry purée through the warm pastry cream, mixing well to thoroughly combine. Press the whole mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps from the pastry cream and any loose fibres from the raspberries. After sieving, the colour of the pastry cream will be homogenous and clean with no specks of raspberry
Add 1 drop of rosewater and stir thoroughly to combine. Taste the mixture before adding any more as the flavour of rosewater can be very overpowering and it’s very easy to add too much! Keep adding drops until you are happy with the flavour – there should be only a very delicate touch of rose
Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl and cover the top with cling film, pressing it down onto the cream so it doesn’t form a skin as it cools. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, even better overnight, so the mixture has time to chill and set
For the raspberry glaze, in a small saucepan, make a raspberry purée, repeating steps 1 and 2
You should have 40g of raspberry purée. If you have more or less, adjust the amount of icing sugar slightly to compensate. Stir in the icing sugar, making sure there are no lumps. Refrigerate until ready to use – the longer you leave it in the fridge, the more it will thicken
To glaze the tops of the éclairs (for the éclairs you will need 6 éclair shells - follow the link to the recipe in the introduction to make these), carefully slice off the top third of each tube – the straighter the better – and dip the top-facing side of each éclair into the glaze, making sure every part of that side is covered
Lay each glazed top on a wire-mesh cake rack so the excess can drain off. The glaze will not dry completely, it will be shiny and tacky, so be careful when handling
To assemble the éclairs, scrape the pastry cream into a disposable piping bag and twist the open end to secure it closed. Snip a 1cm wide hole at the piping end
Pipe the pastry cream into each éclair bottom, filling each about two-thirds full
Press 4 raspberries down into the pastry cream. Carefully place the glazed tops back on each éclair and sprinkle with a few dried rose petals to decorate
Serve immediately. They can be refrigerated to eat later, but are at their best when freshly made
First published in 2015

Specialising in vegetarian food, Nancy has cooked her way around Europe and now writes full time for publications and her blog, Delicious from Scratch.

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