These are incredible. They are worth every minute of your time to make. You will not be disappointed.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you how much I love pastries. When my husband and I had been married for one year, we were gifted a trip to Portugal. My husband had served a mission there for our church when he was 19, and his parents and grandmother really wanted to make sure he got back to visit. So off we went. It was such a fun and exhausting trip, but so worth it!
It was my first time ever going to a European country and I fell in LOVE. Did you know there are pastries on every street corner?! Say what? Yes. I literally at my way through Portugal by eating pastries every meal. My favorites were the ham and cheese pastries, and then of course, their most popular Pasteis de Natas. That translates into pastry of cream. They are heavenly. I can’t imagine how much I would eat if I were in Paris.
One of my mom’s most well known treats by us kids, are her “eclairs”. We always called them eclairs, but technically by their shape they would be considered cream puffs. She always filled them with vanilla pudding and topped them with a homemade chocolate frosting. The best thing was that she always let us eat one in the morning for breakfast because they always tasted so much better the next day. They never stuck around much longer than that because we would devour them.
My sister was telling me about a class she took on cream puffs and the filling that the chef told them about. You use a box mix, but replace most of the milk with cream. Hello! Yes, please. Let me tell you, this filling is incredible. It’s so good you could use it for parfaits, trifles, or eat it plain.
To give these eclairs an even more flavor, I decided to dip them in a white chocolate ganache and roll them in a strawberry crunch topping. Heavenly. Just go and make them now because you need them in your life.
- For the Pate a Choux (pastry)
- 1 cup flour (sifted)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- For the Filling
- 1 large box strawberry pudding (if you can’t find this, vanilla will work too)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 1/4 cup cream
- 1/4 strawberry jam
- For the White Chocolate Ganache
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- For the Strawberry Crunch
- 1 3oz. box of strawberry jello
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Sift the flour and set aside. In a medium sized pot, heat water and butter until butter is melted. Don’t let it boil just yet. Bring it to a quick boil and then turn off heat. Dump in the flour and mix quickly insuring to get all the flour mixed in.
- Place the pot back on the heat and cook over heat for 1 minute. Mixture should form into a ball. After that put the dough into a stand mixer or bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Add in eggs and mix together until the dough turns sticky and yellow in color. It should not be wet. If it is, continue to mix. Line a baking sheet with parchment and use a piping bag with a round tip to pipe strips of dough about 3-4 inches in length.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn the heat down to 325 and bake for another 10 minutes. Pull them out of the oven and poke a small hole in the top or side with a toothpick. Place them back in the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes. Take them out and let them completely cook before filling them.
- For the filling.In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the pudding with the milk. Whisk together until combined. Then add in heavy cream and mix on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in the jam and continue to whisk on high until stiff. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the ganache. In a microwave safe bowl, heat cream for about 35-40 seconds. Immediately dump the white chocolate chips into the heated cream. Wait 5 minutes and then stir together until smooth. Whisk in the powdered sugar.
- For the strawberry crunch. In a small bowl, combine the box of jello with 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of butter. Use a pastry cutter to make the mixture crumbly. Pour mixture onto your prepared cookie sheet. In a different bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, vanilla, and sugar. Again, mix together with a pastry cutter to create a crumbly mixture. Pour vanilla mixture on prepared cookie sheet with the strawberry crumble and mix slightly with your hands. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Once mixture is cooled, break apart and mix together into smaller crumbs.
- Assembly. To assemble the eclairs, use a piping bag fitted with a pointy or sharp tip (I used a small star tip), filled with the strawberry filling. Poke the pastry bag into each side and squeeze until it is filled. It will start to puff up as it fills up.
- Then dip the top in the white chocolate ganache and while it is still wet, roll into the strawberry crunch topping.
- This recipe will make about 2 dozen eclairs and will need to be refrigerated.