Although it’s been a while (a month!) since I last posted a recipe here, there’s been no shortage of cooking and baking recently. It seems like every week brings with it a new cookbook release. Often on a Friday night, I can be found with a glass of wine in hand, pouring over the contents of my latest Amazon delivery and trying to decide what to make first.
One of the books that I’ve been most enthralled by is Emma’s book, My Darling Lemon Thyme. Emma’s blog has long been one of my favourites. Her thoughtful words, dreamy photography and vibrant (vegetarian, gluten free and sometimes dairy free) recipes have rightfully earned her a number of awards and a loyal following. Emma’s book came out in Australia and New Zealand last year and finally arrived in the UK last month (a US release is due later this year). I’m so glad to finally be able to cook from it.
I’d never really considered trying to make a gluten free version of choux pastry before but this recipe makes it easy. A mix of buckwheat flour, rice flour and corn flour – three of the more easy to find gluten free flours – is all you need. Emma’s base recipe can be transformed into little choux buns, as she makes, or filled with cream and topped with chocolate to make profiteroles. I’ve even made a savoury version, adding a handful of grated gruyere to the batter and sprinkling them with cracked black pepper before baking to make gougeres.
Eclairs are the kind of thing which seem like they should be a lot more complicated to make than they are. If you’ve not made choux pastry before, the process can seem a little bizarre but it’s not difficult at all. Rather than faff around making creme patissiere to fill them, I tend to just use whipped cream. Here, I folded through a couple of tablespoons of lemon curd for something that feels luxurious without being too rich or heavy. A simple icing and some chopped pistachios for colour are texture are all you really need in terms of decoration.
Happy weekend all!
Eclairs are often filled with pastry cream but I much prefer a filling of gently whipped cream. A couple of spoonfuls of lemon curd folded through keeps it light and fresh (and easy). I've used this choux pastry recipe in several incarnations - little choux buns topped with chocolate ganache and freeze dried raspberries, my favourite chouquettes and savoury gougeres, rich with gruyere and brightened with a generous helping of black pepper. Emma's recipe works perfectly in all of them.
- 50g (just under 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- A pinch each of sea salt
- 35g (1/4 cup) rice flour
- 20g (1/8 cup) buckwheat flour
- 10g (1/8 cup) corn flour (corn starch)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 200ml (7/8 cup) double cream (heavy cream)
- 2 generous tablespoons lemon curd
- 100g (1/2 cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- The juice of half a lemon
- Chopped pistachios, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
- Put the butter and salt in a pan with 120ml (1/2 cup) of water. Heat gently until the butter has melted and the mixture just comes to the boil. Add all the flours and beat with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, about a minute or so.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before gradually adding the beaten eggs, mixing after each edition until smooth. Keep adding the egg until you have a shiny dough that will gently drop from the spoon; you may not need all the egg.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large tip or - as I do - use a freezer bag with the end snapped off. Pipe 12 lengths of dough onto the baking sheet. They should be about 10cm long and fairly fat. Put them in the oven for about 25 minutes until they are golden brown and crisp to the touch. Remove from the oven and make a little slit in the side of each one. Turn off the oven and put the eclairs back in for 10 minutes or so to dry out. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once cool, split the eclairs in half. At this point, you might need to pop them back into a warm oven for a couple of minutes if they still look damp inside.
- To make the filling, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold through the lemon curd and spoon them into the bottom halves of the eclairs. Put the other half on top and gently press down until the cream starts to squidge out the side. Finally, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice until you have a smooth icing. Spread it on top of the eclairs and top with chopped pistachios.
Choux pastry recipe from My Darling Lemon Thyme - Recipes from my real food kitchen by Emma Galloway