Spring Pastel Eclairs

Dress up eclairs with bright, colorful glazes that are tinted naturally with a variety of fruit juices.

Total Time:
3 hr 50 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
2 hr 30 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
25 eclairs
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, diced
  • Pastry:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Glazes:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons thawed frozen orange juice concentrate mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons Concord grape juice concentrate mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Directions
  • For the filling: Heat the milk, vanilla pod and scraped seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it boils, remove from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth.

  • Remove the vanilla pod from the milk mixture and discard. Carefully whisk 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks until incorporated, then whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is gently bubbling and thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Transfer the mixture to a glass or metal bowl and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

  • For the pastry: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine 1 cup water, the butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture boils, immediately add all the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until it is fully incorporated and smooth, 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 30 seconds more. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed add the eggs 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each addition, until they are completely incorporated and the mixture is thick and smooth.

  • Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe 2-inch lengths of dough onto the prepared baking sheet leaving about 1/2 inch between each. To make smooth eclairs, dip your finger in water and smooth out any bumps or points in the dough.

  • Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until the eclair shells are puffed up and golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Place the eclairs on a wire rack and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

  • Transfer the chilled pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with small plain tip. Use the tip to gently poke a hole into one end of each eclair shell. Pipe the custard into the eclairs until they are just filled (do not overfill). Alternatively, you may split each eclair open with a knife so that it opens like a book and spoon in the filling.

  • For the glaze: Place 1 cup of confectioners' sugar in each of 3 medium bowls. Whisk the orange juice concentrate and water in to one, the cranberry-raspberry juice into one and the Concord grape juice and water in to one, mixing until smooth. Dip the top of each filled eclair into a glaze, letting the excess drip off before turning over and placing on a platter. Let the eclairs rest until the glaze dries and is shiny, 30 minutes.

  • Copyright 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Cook's Note: When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)


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