Passion fruit éclairs

Passion fruit éclairs

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
20 small or 12–15 large éclairs
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Éclairs lend themselves to various tempting fillings and toppings and make delightful teatime treats.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
sunflower oil, to grease
1 quantity Choux pastry

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
2 quantity Crème pâtissière

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
6 ripe passion fruit
or 2-4 tablespoons passion fruit puree
250g icing sugar

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Very lightly oil a nonstick baking sheet.
  2. Scoop the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a plain 7–8mm nozzle and pipe the choux onto the baking sheet into flat ‘S’ shapes (with no gaps), 7–8cm long, spacing them about 4–5cm apart. Use a lightly dampened, clean finger to smooth out any spikes or peaks.
  3. Bake in the top third of the oven for 25–35 minutes until well risen and puffed, and a deep golden brown all over, checking after 25 minutes (no earlier or they may collapse). They should be very firm to the touch on the base. If they are pale golden and soft, bake them for longer.
  4. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 170°C. While the pastry is still hot, use a skewer to make a hole in both ends of the éclair, about 5mm in diameter or the size of your small piping nozzle, for the steam to escape. Place the éclairs back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 5–6 minutes to dry the insides; they should be really crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
  5. For the filling, briefly blitz the crème pâtissière in a food processor to ensure it is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Take one éclair in your palm and pipe the crème pâtissière into one of the holes, holding the piping bag vertically. Repeat to fill the rest of the éclairs.
  6. For the topping, cut the passion fruit, if using, in half and scoop out the insides. Pulse just briefly in a food processor (or the seeds will start to break up). Sieve the juice into a small bowl. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and beat with enough of the passion fruit juice, or purée, to make a smooth icing.
  7. Dip each éclair top into the icing to coat and place on a plate. Alternatively, you can spoon the topping onto the éclairs to coat them evenly.

Variations

  • To make raspberry or blackcurrant flavour, fill the éclairs with crème pâtissière (replacing 50ml of the milk with raspberry or blackcurrant purée if you wish). For the topping, sift 250g icing sugar into a bowl and mix in enough raspberry or blackcurrant purée (3–4 tbsp) to form a thick glacé icing. Dip in the filled éclairs or spoon the icing over the top.

    To make pistachio or other nut flavours, fill the éclairs with crème pâtissière (replacing 1–2 tbsp of the milk with pistachio paste if you wish). For the topping, sift 250g icing sugar into a bowl and mix in enough boiling water to make a thick glacé icing. Use to top the éclairs, then immediately sprinkle with 150g lightly toasted, chopped pistachio nuts.

    To make coffee flavour, fill the éclairs with 600ml double cream whipped with 2 tbsp icing sugar. For the topping, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and beat in enough hot espresso (2–3 tbsp) to make a thick glacé icing.

    To make chocolate flavour, fill the éclairs with crème pâtissière or lightly sweetened whipped cream (as for coffee éclairs). Make the topping as for chocolate profiteroles and use to coat the éclairs.
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