Raspberry and Pistachio Eclairs



I have very fond memories of éclairs from my childhood. There was a tea and cake shop called ‘The Cafe’ in town, where Miss Courtney’s Tearooms is now for anyone familiar with Killarney. During the summer holidays I used go there with my Mom and our neighbour Hannah after we had finished our shopping (Thursday was always shopping day!) We would order a stand full of all sorts of delicious cakes and treats – éclairs, custard slices, cream buns and lots more. We would eat what we could fit into our bellies and the rest was boxed up to take home for later.  I definitely had a sweet tooth from a young age!
The inspiration for my new recipe for raspberry and pistachio éclairs came from my Sophia Webster heels which I wrote about earlier in the week (more details here). As a result my take on éclairs is feminine, pink and fun with raspberries and pink marshmallows. I also added crushed pistachio to add texture and colour to the éclairs.
I have broken the recipe into 3 parts. There are 2 parts that can be made in advance if you are tight for time – the creme patissiere and the choux pastry. The next part is really just a matter of assembling it all together into a delicious treat!

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IMG_0708Choux Pastry

230 ml water
130g flour strong
100g butter – cute into cubes
4 eggs
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C Fan
Sieve the flour and the salt 2 to 3 times to ensure there are no lumps. Sift the flour and salt onto a piece of grease proof paper as you will need to drop in the flour into the water and butter in one go.

Put the water and butter into a pan and bring to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and slide in the flour all at once and immediately start to beat the mixture together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. Put the pan back on the hob on a low heat and continue to stir for another half a minute of so. It should come together and not stick to the sides of the pan. Take off the heat and leave to cool for a minute or two.
The next step is to add the eggs. A note in advance, as egg sizes can vary you may not need to use all of the eggs, it may be a case that you add three eggs and the half of a fourth egg. Add in the first egg and mix. The mixture goes a bit weird each time you add an egg so mix it in throughly to incorporate it properly, it should be kind of velvety and back to normal before you add the next egg and start the process again. By the time you get to the fourth egg just add a little in at a time to ensure you reach the right consistency. It should shiny and smooth and have a consistency commonly referred to as ‘reluctant dropping consistency’. So basically it’s a bit unsure but it will drop after a while 🙂
To make the éclairs, put the mixture in a piping bag, I used a disposable one and cut the end to be 3 quarters of an inch in diameter. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and pipe out the mixture side by side in 4 inch long lines. This should give you around 20 or so but it all depends on the width/length of each one that you have piped out, I always end up with different sizes!
Pop into a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 220°C/200°Cfan, reduce to 200°C/180°C fan for another 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and half the éclairs lengthways down the side of each one. Put the éclair halves back on the baking tray so that the interior is facing up (keep the tops and bottoms together!) Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so to dry out the inside. Once ready put on a wire rack to cool (again keep the bottom and top of each éclair together as you don’t want mismatched shapes and sizes!)

As I mentioned tho can be prepared in advance so you can put the mixture in the fridge over night and bake it the next day or you can freeze the mixture to use at a later date. Alternatively you can bake the éclair ‘shells’ and then freeze then once they are baked to use another time – the choice is yours!

Creme Patissiere

4 medium free range egg yokes
70g caster sugar
15g plain flour
15g cornflour
360mls full fat milk
A half teaspoon vanilla essence (I recommend Nielsen-Massey)

In a bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar  with a hand-held mixer until they are a lighter yellow colour, a minute or so should do the trick. Next add in the sifted flour and corn flour and whisk in. Set to one side while you prep the milk.
Put the milk and vanilla in a pan over a lowish heat and bring to a simmer. Be sure to heat the milk gently. Stir with a wooden spoon as you heat it. Let it cool for a minute before slowly adding half of the milk to the egg mix, whisking constantly as you pour. Then pop this milt and egg mix into the pan with the other half of the milk. Whisk as you bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat. The mixture may go a bit lumpy at this point but keep whisking – it will be ok!! 🙂 Reduce the head and simmer for 2 minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and pop it into a bowl. Cover the surface of the creme pat with some cling film to prevent a skin forming on the surface. (If you feel like your creme is too thick you can mix in a little bit of milk to thin it out)

Assembly!

You will need:
400g or so of fresh raspberries
200g melted pink marshmallows
200g bag of pistachio nuts. Shell them and try to rub off the brown skin before crushing them.

Once you have your creme patissiere and choux pastry made you are ready to start assembling the éclairs. At this stage you will have the éclair ‘shells’ halved into a top and a bottom half. Pipe around 4 individual blobs of cream patissiere into the bottom shell. Pop a raspberry on top of each of the blobs so that it will sit upwards. For more info melting marshmallows check out this link here.  Once its ready dip the top of the éclair into the melted marshmallow – it can get a bit messy at this stage!!! You want to get a layer of the marsh mallow as evenly as possible on the top of the éclair. Sprinkle each one with the crushed pistachio nuts after you have dipped it to ensure that the pistachio stays on! Once they are all done you can put the éclair lid on and ta -dah there you go! I think this is a really fun and tasty treat that is great to make if you have some friends popping around. You could sub in strawberries for raspberries if you prefer but you may need to slice them depending on the size. With a few tweaks this could also be a great sweet canapé for a party. Instead of piping out éclairs you could make profiteroles instead. Half the profiteroles across the middle, fill with creme pat, pop in a raspberry, dip the lid on melted marsh mallow and sprinkle with crushed pistachio. Pop the lids on the profiteroles and you have a portable and tasty great which is perfect for any occasion when you need finger food.

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I really hope that you give this recipe a go, if so I would love to see some pictures of your creations. Use the hashtag #bakemystyle and i can check them out on social media. Speaking of which I’m super excited for bake off tonight so I’m sure I’ll be full of chatter on snapchat! (bakemystyle)

Happy baking,

M x

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