Florida Orange Cream Puffs

Makes 25 choux from dough rounds made with a tablespoon

Florida Orange Cream Puffs

These cream puffs are reminiscent of the pudding-filled choux that my dad made us throughout my childhood, a favorite treat. I gave this delicate confection a Florida twist by filling the choux puffs with orange pastry cream and topping them with an intensely orange glaze. Photo by Ilva Beretta for AFR

Ingredients

  • Cream Puffs
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick), unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

  • Orange Pastry Cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk (whole or low fat)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • Orange Glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, more as needed

Instructions

Cream Puffs

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet, or line with oven-safe parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat water, butter and salt until butter melts and mixture comes to a boil. Add flour all at once. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. (Scraping the dough into a heatproof mixing bowl will speed up the cooling process.)

Using a whisk or a wooden spoon, add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until blended in.

Using a tablespoon (or teaspoon for smaller puffs), scoop up mounds of dough and carefully push dough off onto the prepared cookie sheet, using your finger or a rubber spatula. They will rise and almost double in size, so leave space between puffs.

Bake for 35 minutes until puffed and lightly golden. Working quickly, open oven and, with a sharp knife, make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow steam to escape. Bake the choux for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, depending upon the size of the puffs, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling with orange pastry cream.

Pastry Cream*

Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup milk. Whisk until smooth and there are no lumps. In a saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup milk with the sugar. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour the scalded milk into the egg mixture in a very slow stream, whisking constantly so the eggs do not begin to cook.

Once all of the hot milk has been whisked into the egg mixture, pour it back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Add zest and orange juice.

Cook over low heat, whisking until the cream thickens and comes just to a boil, 3 to 5 minutes, no longer. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.

Pour the pastry cream into a heatproof pyrex or stainless steel bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Use the pastry cream while it is creamy enough to pipe into the choux. If it becomes too firm, beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy and of piping consistency.

To fill, make a hole in the bottom of each puff with a small paring knife. Fill a pastry bag with the orange pastry cream and fill each puff by inserting tip through the opening and squeezing the cream inside. Alternately, use a serrated knife to split cream puffs in half horizontally; spoon pastry cream onto the bottom halves and replace top halves.

* Fills 12 large choux/cream puffs. if doubling, use 4 large egg yolks and no whole egg. Use ¼ cup cornstarch measured before sifting.

Orange Glaze*

Mix powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice. Stir until well blended and a thick glaze forms. If too thick, add a bit more orange juice. If too thin, stir in more powdered sugar. Drizzle over the choux or dunk the tops of the choux into the bowl of glaze.

* Glazes 12 large choux/cream puffs To double: for 1 cup powdered sugar, start with 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice and add a little more at a time until desired consistency.

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