Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Creme Puffs and Vanilla Creme Filling a la Leah - Homemade from Scratch

These extra big and fluffy creme puffs have been made by my mother and I for years, the homemade vanilla filling t'aint bad either! I make them extra big 4 x 5 inches and are usually 3-4 inches tall when completed. As a funny true story, these usually were pre-bought at the yearly church festival when the people knew we were bringing them down...we would usually have to make at least 4 batches....and we would sell them for $5 a piece easily!

Who knew making 'slow food' could be so good!


  • I will list for both the creme puffs and the vanilla filling, though you can easily make these creme puffs half their size and fill with savory foods as well.
  • I include variations on the fillings as well as tips and tricks here for having great fluffy creme puff results.
  • This creme filling can be used as pie filling as well....
  • ****Creme Puffs Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter unsalted preferred - can use 50/50 ratio of shortening and butter mix as long as butter is at least 1/2 of the ratio.
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 quart pot with lid
  • wood spoon
  • whisk
  • timer
  • parchment paper OR clean brown paper bags
  • large cookie sheet
  • ****Vanilla Filling Ingredients:
  • double boiler - or bowl over simmering water in pot
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs or 4 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • + 2 Tablespoons sugar if not using optional additional flavorings
  • 2-3 tablespoons optional flavorings: godiva chocolate liqueur, etc.

  1. Oven needs rack on middle shelf and should be very well preheated to 425 degrees before you start to make your pastry dough.
  2. This will ensure your creme puffs bake as high as possible.
  3. Once in, do not open oven door for any reason until at least 30 minutes have past.... seriously =-0 - or your creme puffs might deflate :-(
  4. Crack eggs into small bowl so they are ready to be added once at a time without having to stop while stirring them in when you are ready.
  5. With pot on stove over medium heat, add all your dry ingredients and whisk till combined: flour, sugar, salt.
  6. Add 1 cup of boiling water to dry ingredients all at once.
  7. Stir with wooden spoon over medium heat till dough is formed and started to come away from walls of pot/pan.
  8. Let dough (while stirring) cook over heat for at least 3-4 minutes then remove from heat.
  9. I usually place pot onto trivet on counter while adding eggs.
  10. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition until eggs has been completely incorporated into dough. The color of the dough will change from light creme to a nice light yellow yellow.
  11. Once done, take parchment paper or cut up brown paper bags which is what my mom used to do all the time instead of using parchment paper, and line cookie sheet.
  12. Lightly grease parchment paper before adding pastry dough onto cookie sheet and parchment paper.
  13. With large spoon create and divide from bowl: six dollops of pastry dough onto cookie sheet leaving at least 2 inches in between globs of pastry dough.
  14. They will double in size easily once they start baking.
  15. Taking a fork, create small peaks in the pastry dough by pulling up dough slightly with fork....like you might do with the top of a cake when frosting or with meringue to make it look pretty.
  16. Once ready, with oven mitt handy, place cookie sheet onto middle rack of oven and close door gently and immediately.
  17. Bake for 30 minutes - DO NOT PEEK or OPEN DOOR for first two thirds of baking time. After 25 or 30 minutes, your creme puffs are done.
  18. You should though allow them to stay in oven, with oven turned off and oven door ajar (left open slightly) to ensure any beads of moisture no longer is seen on the tops of your creme puffs have dried away - maybe ten minutes.
  19. Keep in a dry and warm place until ready to fill and serve.
  20. This will ensure a dry and crispy creme puff that has more staying power then one which is soggy and flat, think not pretty.
  21. Once cooled, fill with creme filling noted below, or with a filling of your choice including savory fillings such as lumped crab mix salad, mushroom mousse, etc.
  22. ***Creme Filling directions:
  23. In double boiler, add the following ingredients: all dry ingredients, sugar, flour, salt over medium heat.
  24. Add 2 cups of milk slowly and whisk in milk.
  25. Stirring constantly, cook over heat until mixture starts to thicken - 5 minutes.
  26. Cover with lid, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  27. While that cooks, crack eggs into bowl and stir to mix eggs.
  28. Remove from heat (take out that trivet again) add a little bit of the hot mixture to the eggs to temper them, then add beaten eggs back into the hot mixture and stir to quickly combine eggs with hot mixture.
  29. Put back onto stove over heat and allow to cook for 2 full minutes. Remove from heat.
  30. Add butter and vanilla extract and allow to cool.
  31. Once slightly cooled, add to fridge with lid to completely chill.
  32. Once chilled, whip up heavy cream, adding the additional sugar and any extra flavorings you might like, then add whipped cream to creme filling which will be rather stiff now.
  33. The whipped cream will 'lighten' the creme filling which you can now use to fill your creme puffs.
  34. You can slice them in half, or cut slits in them and fill with spoon or pastry bag if you are so inclined to use your kitchen gadgets.
  35. Serve creme puffs on pretty plates, serve up plain or the preferred way: sprinkle with confectioner's sugar plain or with a bit of cocoa in it for extra flair.....
  36. Enjoy these crowd-pleasing favorites which are not too sweet, but instead something really fancy that people will think you labored more than you actually did!
  37. Make 'em drool with jealousy!!!!
  38. Should there be leftovers - they can stay in the fridge over night, but I would suggest eating them up the next day.

1 comment:

Alisa@Foodista said...

It looks so good! And I just love your guide photos! You have a really wonderful site!