baking · Uncategorized

pumpkin cream puffs

featured-image-1I have officially eaten my weight in pumpkin everything and I don’t regret any of it!  Pumpkin Caramel Kringle, hot pumpkin spice lattes, iced pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, salads with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin vinaigrette, if it has pumpkin, I’ll eat it (or drink it).  Hi, I’m Jasmine, and I’m a pumpkin addict.  I’m sure others share the same obsession for pumpkin as much as I do, so why isn’t obsessing, I mean eating pumpkin a year-round thing?  The more I think about it, the more I start to feel sad because pumpkin season is only about three months long!  Did I just call pumpkin a season?  I guess it’s not as bad as I think because pumpkin has made its home at the end of the year and all those months leading up to it, in much anticipation, is totally worth it.

pumpkin-spice-2measuring-cups-and-spoons-1The idea of a pumpkin cream puff came from blending my daily craving for pumpkin and my most recent food-filled trip to New York City.  I’ve had my share of cream puffs, but never have I had a matcha green tea cream puff.  It felt like a journey to get to this matcha green tea cream puff, but it was worth it.  A group of us maneuvered our way through Times Square, dodging people taking pictures left and right, but also stopping ourselves to take a quick photo because it’s Times Square and of course you have to take photos.  With only thirty minutes left till closing, we arrive at Bibble & Sip and get our hands on these perfectly round, vibrant green, matcha green tea pastry cream filled, cream puffs (that was a tongue twister!).  I remember thinking after every bite, “Wow, this is good!  What else can you put in cream puffs?”  I came back home with a full stomach and a full mind and it wasn’t until I got the usual iced pumpkin spice latte that  I realized it was pumpkin, pumpkin is the “what else” you put in cream puffs!

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This pumpkin cream puff, has a lot of different parts to it, but with patience, each part is fun! The first part is the craquelin; when translated to English, means cracker.  It’s the distinctive cracked top of the cream puff, which adds a sweet, crunchy texture.  The second part is the cream puff aka pâte à choux; when translated to English, pâte means paste and choux means cabbage.  It’s not really cabbage, but more so the resemblance of what the cream puff looks like when it comes out of the oven.  The last part is the pastry cream.  A vanilla pastry cream will do, but I wanted to overdo it and fill my cream puffs with pumpkin pastry cream because again, it’s pumpkin season.  Since every texture of this cream puff is special, from the crunchy top to the velvety smooth pastry cream, you will want to make these for the rest of pumpkin season!  Let’s get “craquelin”!

cream-puffs

Pumpkin Cream Puffs

prep time: 1 hour and 35 minutes (inactive for 1 hour)

bake time: 30 minutes

yields: 10-12

ingredients

craquelin

  • 3 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of flour

pumpkin pastry cream

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pâte à choux

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs

directions

craquelin

In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and light brown sugar, about 1 minute.  Throw in pumpkin spice and mix in flour.  Shape mixture into a ball and place in between two large sheets of parchment paper.  Roll this out until it’s about an eighth inch thick.  Place in the freezer for about an hour.  This could also be done days in advance!

After they harden, cut out 2 ½ inch circles; this step needs to be pretty quick since the craquelin will start to soften and it won’t be as easy to work with.  (This step is done once you’ve piped the pate a choux onto the baking sheet).

pumpkin pastry cream

Warm up the milk over medium heat just until you start to see a little bit of steam, be careful not to boil the milk.  Put the sugar, flour and pumpkin spice together in a bowl and mix in egg yolks one at a time.  Once it starts to take on a paste-like consistency, add that honest to goodness stuff, pumpkin puree.

Slowly add a little bit of the warm milk to the mixture and whisk to combine.  Continue to add all the milk slowly while whisking.  Whisk and add, whisk and add.  Once all the milk is added, pour everything back into the pot along with the vanilla extract, place back on the stove and cook over medium heat.  Whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened into a pudding-like consistency, this shouldn’t take very long.

To get that super smooth pastry cream, you will pour the mixture through a strainer over a bowl.  Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic wrap is directly touching the pastry cream so it doesn’t form a skin) and chill completely.  This is another step that can be done ahead of time too!

pâte à choux

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will start to come together and start pulling away from the sides and look like a ball of dough, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the dough into the bowl of a mixer and let cool for 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix thoroughly before adding the next.  The dough should end up looking smooth and shiny.  Put the dough in a piping bag and pipe 2 inch balls onto a baking sheet.

Cook for 1o minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes.  The dough should puff up into full rounds.

Recipe adapted from Food Network’s Alton Brown and Kitchn.

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