Homemade Cream Puffs

July 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm 8 comments

Homemade Cream puffs

I’m so sorry I left you without a recipe for such a long time!   Especially considering the last post was a tease for this amazing recipe I have for Homemade Cream Puffs filled with Rhubarb Mascarpone Filling.  Considering rhubarb season is long gone at this point in late July,  I think I’ll just see if I can convince you all to make these delectable airy puffs and fill them with ice cream instead.  I have another batch in the oven right now for just that purpose. 

Cream Puffs with Rhubarb Filling

It’s been so hot here in Philadelphia that I can’t really bear to cook much.  Work in the market garden is really playing me out too so it’s been tough to sit down in front of the computer without dozing off.  Explanations aside though, it’s about time I got this recipe posted.   I got a tutorial on making cream puffs from my mom a few months back.  I had never made them, thinking they must be really tricky and the privilege of a finely trained pastry chef.  Turns out, I couldn’t have been more off the mark.

Plain cream puffs

My mom apparently has known the secret to making a good batch of cream puffs for a long time.  In fact, she apparently used to make them a lot when she was still keeping chickens in our backyard.  I guess I was a little too young to remember.  In any case, the trick is to use old eggs.   Something about the aging of the proteins in the eggs helps make them more stable for holding air in the center of the puffs.  I’m no food chemist so I can’t really explain it well.  Just trust me when I say I’ve made several batches of these at this point and never once have I had one collapse on me.   As my mom recalls, cream puffs were simply a good way to use up those extra eggs from the hens that had been languishing in the fridge for too long.    

Filling the puffs

According to my mom, cream puffs were a very vogue vehicle for serving food at parties back in the day, both savory and sweet.  Make them tiny or make them big, you can fill them with chicken salad, egg salad, dressed baby greens, cold cuts, cheeses… or got the sweet way and fill with ice cream, chocolate mousse,  baked fruit, or even jam swirled into fresh whipped cream.   I’ll be taking a batch of both savory and sweet ones to a picnic in a few weeks.  It’s time cream puffs were back in style!

Homemade cream puffs with chocolate drizzle

Homemade Cream Puffs {with Rhubarb Marscapone Filling}
A Straight from the Farm Original

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs*

*It is very important to use “old” eggs to ensure your puffs stay poofed.  Eggs should be at least a week old…if you bought them at the farmers market (i.e., they were really fresh to start with), it might be good to even let them for two weeks. 

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Vigorous stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball (about 30 seconds).  Using a wooden spoon or handheld mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Puffs should be firm to the touch and dry.

When the shells are cool, either split and fill them (using a pastry bag to poke a hole and squeeze in the filling) with just about any sweet or savory mixture.   In the photos here, I used a filling created by mixing soft mascarpone cheese with creamy roated rhubarb.  Other ideas include splitting them and filling with ice cream,  chicken salad, cold cuts, herb cream cheese, etc.  Or pipe in pudding, ganache, dulce de leche, or fruity filling. 

 (makes 15-20 cream puffs)


Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , .

Roasted Rhubarb & Cream From the Archives: Summer Berry Pavolova

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Great cream puffs, they look pillowy and feather light! I love the sounds of the filling with rhubarb. I actually froze a bunch for random rhubarb recipes, I hate that its such a short season!

  • 2. Food-Fitness-FreshAir  |  July 26, 2010 at 5:31 am

    I’m hoping to get some great cream puffs when I head over to Italy! I’ve heard it’s been boiling in Philly. You’ll have to whip up some more innovative ice cream recipes!

  • 3. Jason  |  July 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

    How you’re finding time to cook whilst dealing with the heat and all those big and small gardens of yours is a feat worth documenting, for sure!

    I’ve never been brave enough to try cream puffs… partially because I’ve had a very fussy, unpredictable oven for the past three years or so. Before then, though, I just knew better! Maybe one day… they do look terrific. 🙂

    Should I get up the nerve to attempt this, is it out of the question to use FROZEN rhubarb to make the filling? We usually buy up all the rhubarb we’ll need for the year at the first one or two farmer’s markets and I freeze it almost immediately.

  • 4. Much to my Delight  |  July 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I just had homemade cream puffs at a baptism party yesterday and they were TO DIE FOR. I love them and these look wonderful!!

  • 5. Becky and the Beanstock  |  July 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

    See, that’s the kind of recipe that would scare me, too. But you make it look so absolutely within reach — I just may have to try it. Besides, there’s something rebellious in me that feels the need to throw on the oven when it’s already 80 degrees in the kitchen and 98 degrees outside. That food tastes so good when I finally sit down the cool cave of the living room and bite in!

  • 6. Elizabeth  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Wow! I just stumbled across your beautiful blog. Rhubarb mascarpone filling sounds amazing, and the cream puffs look wonderful.

  • 7. Magda @ Be Nutritious  |  August 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I’ve never had cream puffs and I just ate dinner and you have no idea how much I want to snack on something sweet now. That looks beautiful.

  • 8. theweekendgourmande  |  August 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I just heard about your blog today and was excited to see this post– I’m working on a recipe for gougeres with a savory filling that makes use of summer produce, and i agree it’s nice to find ways to show off the versatility of pate a choux! Also, it’s fun to see what you’re doing with this wordpress theme, I use the same one and you’re the first other one I’ve stumbled across(although i haven’t been looking– I guess I should!)! I’ll be adding you to my reader!


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