Jacques Pepin’s Cream Puffs
Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Serves 6
- For the dough:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- For the whipped cream filling:
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Heat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 350°F. Lightly butter a sheet pan.
For the dough, in a medium saucepan, combine the milk, butter, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat, add the flour all at once, and mix it in with a wooden spoon. Return the pan to the stove and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and collects into one soft lump about the consistency of modeling clay. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds, still stirring, to dry the mixture further, then transfer to a food processor and process for 4 to 5 seconds to cool the mixture slightly.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until well mixed. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the beaten eggs to brush on the puffs. Add the remaining eggs to the dough mixture. Process for 20 to 30 seconds, until very smooth.
Dividing evenly, spoon 6 rounds of dough, each about the size of a Ping-Pong ball (approximately 3 tablespoons), onto the pan, spacing them evenly to allow for expansion. Brush with the reserved beaten egg to smooth the tops and coat the surface of the balls.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the puffs are nicely developed, browned, and cooked through. They should hold their shape but still be soft. Open the oven door and let the puffs rest for 10 minutes. Set aside in a draft-free area to cool.
For the whipped cream filling, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream with the confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk, until soft peaks form.
Remove the top of each puff, cutting around the top about a quarter of the way down and lifting off the resulting cap. Fill with the whipped cream and top with their caps. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
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