11 April 2013

Pistachio Eclairs


I'm not obsessed with pistachios, honest.

The fact that I've included two pistachio recipes on this blog already is just a coincidence. I do, however, love a break from the standard. As much as I absolutely adore chocolate éclairs - all that chocolaty creamy gorgeousness - it's always nice to try something different. I came up with these after a client put in an order for pistachio éclairs a couple of months ago.


It was a case of trial and error. Initially I tried them with whipped double cream flavoured with ground pistachios but it just wasn't quite special enough. So I gave it another go, this time using the creme patissiere recipe I use in my fruit tarts, folded in with the flavoured cream. Result! Happy me, satisfied customer!


There are three stages to this recipe: the choux pastry, the creme patissiere and the icing.

Choux Pastry



Making the choux pastry isn't as difficult as you might think but you do have to work quickly.

Here is what you will need:

85g butter
220ml water
105g plain flour 
Pinch salt
3 eggs, beaten

A piping bag and 1cm plain nozzle

Preheat the oven to 200oC/180oC fan assisted. Sieve the flour three times then add the salt.

Put the butter and the water into a saucepan and place on a low heat until the butter has melted. Then turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. When it's boiling really fast, tip in the flour and salt, remove the pan from the heat and working as fast as you can, beat the mixture hard with a wooden spoon.  AS SOON AS it leaves the sides of the pan - about 15 seconds - spread the mixture (the 'panade') on to a plate to cool to room temperature.


Now this is the bit that will build your arm muscles! When cooled, return the panade to the saucepan and quickly beat in the eggs a little at a time - about 6 or 7 additions - until it is soft, shiny and smooth. Beat well between each addition. You might have a little egg left over; you don't necessarily need to use all of it. What we want is a reluctant dropping consistency so when you pick some up on the spoon and give it a little encouragement, it will drop in about 5 to 7 seconds.


Using a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle, pipe 4" lengths of choux onto a greased baking sheet, keeping them well separated. Bake for 25 minutes until crisp and pale brown.

Remove from the oven and using a skewer, make a hole the size of a pea in each éclair and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Creme Patissiere Filling

You will need:

275ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod
2 eggs
50g caster sugar
25g plain flour
60g (without shell weight) pistachios, ground in the food processor
300ml double cream
Pistachio essence
2 tbsp icing sugar
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Heat the milk and open vanilla pod on a low heat. Remove from the heat just before boiling point and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, flour and a little of the warm milk in a bowl. Pour the rest of the warm milk into the bowl and whisk until combined. Sieve back into the cleaned out pan and heat it on a medium heat, whisking constantly. After a few minutes it will begin to thicken. When thick, mix in most of the pistachios, keeping some back for the topping. Spoon the custard into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and move to the fridge to cool.


When cooled, remove from the fridge and mix in the food processor until nice and smooth.

Put the double cream in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of sifted icing sugar and a couple of drops of pistachio essence. Use an electric whisk to bring the cream to soft peaks then fold into the pistachio custard until thoroughly combined.

Using a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, pipe the creme patissiere into each cooled éclair making sure they are completely filled. You will know it's full when the éclair starts to expand (but try not to let them burst!).

Icing

You will need:

110g icing sugar, sifted
Pistachio essence
Green colouring

Mix together the sifted icing sugar, a few drops of pistachio essence, a tiny bit of green colouring (no more than what would be picked up by the end of a matchstick) and 1 tablespoon of hot water until smooth. The consistency needs to be runny enough to coat the éclairs so add some more hot water if required.

Dip the top of each filled éclair into the icing, give it a wiggle from side to side, then carefully remove.


Place on a wire rack and sprinkle with the remaining ground pistachios.


And there you have it. They are ready to enjoy straight away!

They are definitely best eaten on the day you made them but you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until the following day if required.


What is your éclair flavour of choice? 

Do let me know if you decide to give this recipe a go - I'd love to know how you got on :)

6 comments:

  1. Wowee, these eclairs looks amazing, like totally french-patisserie-worthy!! I have never come across one before, I was marvelled at having discovered a pain au pistachio at the market - - - but eclairs?! now we are talking!
    x x x

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  2. Oh good god I want one of these... They look INCREDIBLE!! You make it look so easy! Major food envy! xxxx
    http://gingerbreadjourney.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's so yummy !

    bisous,
    Natasha

    http://www.bisousnatasha.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very original, and they look divine! I will give them a go.
    Marisa.xx
    www.cremaluisa.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  5. Éclairs!!! Oh these look so good, you HAVE to do éclairs! (Even if its just so I can try one :P ) x
    Heroine In Heels

    ReplyDelete

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