Cream puffs are one of my favorite desserts to make for guests. They look like a little fancy or, as my dad would say, “store bought.” The puffs only requires 4 ingredients that most everyone has on hand and are very simple to make. The filling I always use is one of my mom’s recipes; a recipe I think my mom got from her mother because my cousins remember it from their childhood as well. I grew up enjoying this filling in a pie. Graham cracker crust, sugar custard filling topped with a beautiful meringue. It’s a great memory. It was a great pie. And it tastes awesome in a cream puff.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
In a heavy saucepan bring water to a boil and melt the butter in the boiling water.
Once the butter has melted add the flour and salt all at once and stir vigorously. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture forms a ball that won’t separate. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
Bake at 325 for 25 minutes
Turn the oven off, split the puffs, and put them back in the oven to dry for 20 minutes. Put dried puffs on a rack to cool.
Now you’re ready to prepare the filling.
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
3 T flour
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk together the flour and sugar in a heavy saucepan.
Whisk egg yolks.
Add milk and egg yolks to the sugar, flour mixture. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until mixture comes to a full boil.
Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Allow the filling to cool. Assemble the cream puffs.
Serve with some fresh berries or drizzle with a little chocolate, caramel or hot fudge. Add a dollop or two of whipped cream if you’d like.
Cream Puffs. It’s what was for dessert tonight. And probably again tomorrow.
NOTE: Add coconut or bananas to the vanilla filling for a cream pie or pudding. Or, if you don’t have time to make cream puffs, serve the cream filling on its own with fruit of your choosing.