On Memorial Day I made Cream Puffs. Remember those? Home Ec Class in high school? The lesson about leavening agents–that eggs and air and steam could make desserts rise, i.e. angel food cakes, sponge cakes, cream puffs, eclairs. According to FOOD LOVERS’ COMPANION, a cream puff is also called choux pastry (shoo) pastry. Just in case you missed the lesson in Home Ec, during the baking, the eggs make the pastry puff into irregular domes. They are easy and fun. Not everyone in my family likes therm, but that’s just fine. (The more for me idea.)
In case you cannot find the recipe, here is the Old One from JOY OF COOKING, 1952 edition.
“Please cease to think of these as something to try out in your more adventurous moments. No need to shine up your rabbit’s food–just have all ingredients at room temperature. But once the cream puffs are filled with, be sure that they are stored in a cool or refrigerated place, as they are subject to bacterial activity which maybe highly toxic and give no evidence of spoilage….”
Sift before measuring:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk or water
1/4 cup butter
Bring these ingredients to the boiling point. Add the sifted flour:
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cook and stir the batter until it leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove it from the heat. Beat in one at a time:
Be careful to beat l egg until well blended before adding the other. Place spoonfuls of batter in 2 inch rounds on a greased tin*, heaping them well in the center. Allow 2 inches between the puffs. In France the dough is chilled before being baked. Bake them in a hot oven 400 F for 1/2 hour. Reduce the heat to 350 F. Bake them 5 minutes longer. Test the puffs by removing one from the oven. If it does not fall it is thoroughly done. When the puffs are cool, cut a gash in the side of each puff and fill them with sweetened whipped cream custard, etc.
The puffs were fun. Now I need to work on making a custard that is not lumpy!!!! However, Karyn’s ice cream was good in them.
*An easier method–line a pan with parchment paper.