by Caitlin Saniga
Pate a choux:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (Add it gradually, tasting as you go, until you achieve the perfect mild sweetness.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
To make the pate a choux:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set them aside. Combine the butter, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted and the water just comes to a boil.
Remove from the heat, add flour, and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon. Return the pan to heat; cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan as you stir, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let cool for 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously until they are completely incorporate and the pastry is smooth. (It might be best to break the third egg into a dish, split the yolk with a knife, and add it in spoonfuls to the mixture. You might not need to use all of the final egg to achieve the correct consistency.)
Transfer the pastry to a pastry bag fitted with a small coupler (or a zip-top bag with the corner cut off to form a small hole). Pipe about 1 tablespoon of the pastry into a mound on one of the prepared baking sheets. Continue piping until all the pastry is used, spacing pastry about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Combine the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash, and brush the top of each mound with the egg wash. Smooth any rough spot on the top with a water-dampened finger. Bake until the puffs are golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. (Start checking at 20 minutes.) Remove from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice the pastry puffs crosswise, and set aside.
To make the whipped cream:
In the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a whisk, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat on high until a semi-firm consistency is reached, about 3 minutes.
To make the strawberries:
Sprinkle the sugar over the sliced strawberries and stir to combine.
To assemble the cream puffs:
Put a few slices of strawberry and a dollop of whipped cream in the bottom of each pasty. Top cream puffs with pastry lids.
Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours before serving.
Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook — The Original Classics