Now I have a confession to make. I haven’t actually made these but I was the lucky recipient of one at a friend’s house this time last year. I have never forgotten it because it was fabulous. Husband and I both adore eclairs but the only effort we make is taking a ready made pack of them out of the supermarket chiller cabinet. So, if you are not so lazy as me, I’m sure you will not only like this recipe for Fresh Strawberry Eclairs from Olive Magazine, you will also love the praise and admiration you’ll receive from whoever you serve one to.
Fresh Strawberry Eclairs
Ingredients makes 10-12
plain flour 150g
caster sugar 1 tbsp
unsalted butter 75g, plus more for the tray
milk 75ml, plus a splash extra
eggs 4, 3 lightly beaten and 1 yolk only
strawberries 5, hulled and sliced
freeze-dried strawberries crushed to decorate (optional)
For strawberry glaze:
strawberries 2 big or 4 small
icing sugar 200g
How to prepare
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Sift the flour into a bowl. Put the sugar, butter and milk in a pan with 125ml water and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat, pour in the flour and beat the mixture until it turns into a smooth, thick panade (pastry dough) that comes away from the side of the pan. Tip this into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it for a couple of minutes to cool it down a bit, otherwise the eggs might cook when you add them.
Add the whole eggs, gradually (the mixture should be thick enough to hold it’s shape so you may not need all the egg) beating all the time, don’t worry if the mixture looks as if it has split, it will come back. Scrape the mix into a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle about 1½ cm wide and pipe éclairs about 12cm long onto your baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Beat the yolk with a splash of milk and paint a wide stripe of egg wash down the top of each éclair.
Bake for 50 minutes or until the éclairs are completely dry, the best way of checking is to cut one in half horizontally when you think they are done. If they are still soggy they will collapse when they cool. Cool completely.
To make the icing, squash the strawberries and add a couple of tbsp icing sugar and mash everything together well, leave it for 5 minutes. Push the lot through a fine sieve and use this base to add more icing sugar to, and as much water as you need to make a thick icing that will stay on the top of the éclairs without running off.
Halve the éclairs horizontally. Dip the lids, top-down, in the icing and put them cut-side down to dry. If your icing is thin, double or triple dip until it looks thicker. Spoon the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a wide nozzle and then pipe a strip of cream along each base. Arrange a layer of overlapping strawberry slices on top and then pipe on a couple of small dots of cream to help lid stay on. Repeat with all the éclairs and then put a lid on each. Sprinkle with dried strawberries, if you like.
More desserts from the CW archives if you click here