Makes 11⁄2 lbS (750 g) pastry
Enough for 20 classic éclairs, 50 small éclairs or 120 miniature éclairs
Preparation time: 30 minutes
• Large baking sheet(s), lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat
• Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
- 2⁄3 cup water 150 mL
- 2⁄3 cup whole milk 150 mL
- 13⁄4 tsp pure vanilla extract 8 mL
- 11⁄2 tsp granulated sugar 7 mL
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (160 g) 175 mL
- 3⁄4 tsp salt 3 mL
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour (160 g) 295 mL
- 5 large eggs, beaten (approx.)
OTHER THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, vanilla, sugar, butter and salt.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
3. Remove from heat. Add flour.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir until flour is completely incorporated and dough pulls away from sides of pan, leaving sides of pan fairly clean.
5. Return pan to medium-low heat. Cook dough, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, for 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and forms a ball. (Heating the dough like this helps to “dry it out” so you end up with a uniform mixture that is not too moist.)
6. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Gradually add just enough egg to make a glossy, firm dough, while beating well with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula—this is essential for the pastry to turn out well.
7. The dough will be very smooth and hold its shape.
PIPING AND BAKING ÉCLAIRS
1. Using bowl scraper or spatula, transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 3⁄4-inch (2 cm) star tip. On prepared baking sheet(s), pipe pastry dough into oblong shapes, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart (they will expand as they bake): Classic éclairs: 51⁄4 by 1 inch (13 by 2.5 cm); Small éclairs: 21⁄2 by 3⁄4 inch (6 by 1.5 cm); Miniature éclairs: 2 by 1⁄2 inch (5 by 1 cm).
2. Bake one sheet at a time, in preheated oven until evenly puffed and golden brown and they feel hollow: Classic éclairs: 35 minutes; Small éclairs: 30 minutes; Miniature éclairs: 25 minutes. Do not open oven door while baking, or éclairs will collapse. At the end of baking, turn oven off, open oven door about 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) and let cool for 15 minutes (they will continue to brown slightly) to let steam escape and prevent éclairs from cracking. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
Courtesy of ÉCLAIRS by Christophe Adam © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Rina Nurra