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!
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:
105g plain flour
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.
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
50g caster sugar
25g plain flour
60g (without shell weight) pistachios, ground in the food processor
300ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
|You can get this on Amazon|
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!).
You will need:
110g icing sugar, sifted
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 :)