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eclairs

Raspberry Earl Grey Eclairs

Light, airy and crispy choux pastry eclairs filled with raspberry jam, and Earl Grey
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 10 - 12 eclairs

Ingredients
  

Earl Grey Pastry Cream

  • 1 ½ cups (341g) half and half
  • 3 bags Earl Grey tea
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Raspberry Jam

  • 2 cups (16oz) raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Eclairs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (60g) all purpose flour

Raspberry Glaze

  • 1 cup (114g) powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons reserved raspberry jam
  • Halved raspberries, edible flowers, and freeze dried raspberries, for decoration (optional)

Instructions
 

Earl Grey Pastry Cream

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the half and half and tea bags.
  • Bring the mixture to just a simmer. Remove from the heat and steep the tea in the half and half for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags, getting as much liquid as possible out of the tea bags. Discard the tea bags.
  • Whisk in 3 tablespoons of sugar and the salt and bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and egg yolks and whisk until fully mixed and lightened, about 45 seconds.
  • Whisk in the cornstarch until thickened, for about a minute.
  • When the half and half mixture is simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully whisk the egg mixture into the half and half mixture in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly to ensure the eggs don't scramble.
  • Place the pan over medium heat, whisking continuously until the pastry cream thickens and slow bubbles pop on the surface.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any curdled bits, and to smooth out the cream.
  • Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap so that a skin doesn't form. Allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature.
  • Chill the pastry cream in the fridge until completely chilled, about 4 hours, preferably overnight before using.

Raspberry Jam

  • In a saucepan, heat the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Reduce raspberry mixture until it has thickened and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Place into the refrigerator to chill.

Eclairs

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray then line with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the eggs and egg white into a measuring cup. You should have 1/2 cup. Discard any excess egg mixture.
  • Place the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the flour. Keep stirring until the mixture clears the side of the pan.
  • Place the pan over low heat, stirring and smearing the mixture, until it is slightly shiny and small beads of fat appear on the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a food processor. Let cool until the temperature reaches 160F. Alternatively, process for 15 seconds with the feed tube open to cool it down.
  • With the processor running, pour in the egg mixture in a slow and steady stream.
  • Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then process the mixture again for an additional 30 seconds. The pastry should be smooth, thick and sticky.
  • Transfer the pastry to a piping bag fitted with a French star attachment (Ateco 869).
  • Use a bench scraper to scrape the pastry towards the piping tip.
  • Pipe the paste into 12 - 5"x1" strips, about 1" apart on the cookie sheet.
  • Dip your finger into a bowl of cold water to even out and clean up the eclair shape.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temp to 375 and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the eclairs are golden brown. Do not open up the oven until the eclairs are baked.
  • Cool completely. The eclairs should sound hollow when tapped.

Fill the Eclairs

  • Fit one piping bag with raspberry jam (reserve 4 tablespoons for the glaze) and the other with pastry cream.
  • Use a medium round piping tip (I used a Wilton 12A) to poke 5 holes, evenly spaced, on the bottom of the eclair. 
  • Pipe raspberry filling into holes 2 and 4, about 1 1/2 teaspoons per hole.
  • Pipe pastry cream into holes 1, 3 and 5, filling up the eclair. You will know they are full as they will no longer sound hollow when tapped, and the eclair will feel heavier.

Raspberry Glaze

  • Whisk together the reserved raspberry jam and powdered sugar until well combined.

Glaze and Decorate the eclairs

  • Dip the tops of the eclairs into the raspberry glaze. Place onto a cooling rack.
  • Decorate the eclairs with halved raspberries, edible flowers and freeze dried raspberries. Serve room temperature or slightly chilled.

Notes

Eclair and pastry cream adapted from Baking Illustrated.
Unfilled pastry shells can be stored at room temperature for 1 day, or frozen for up to 3 months. 
To crisp up eclair shells that have softened, pop them into a 300F oven until crisp and warmed through. 
Pastry cream can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to use, for up to 4 days. Make sure to cover with plastic wrap touching the entire surface of the pastry  cream to prevent it from forming a skin.
Eclairs are best the day they are baked and filled.
Keyword choux pastry, earl grey, eclairs, raspberry, raspberry earl grey eclairs
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